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OCEANA 



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Ss'y 

n 





ENGLAND AND HER COLONIES 

BY 

JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE 
X>^ 

Moribus antiquis stat res Romana VIRISQUE ' Ennius 

rar-rr- T^~. 




Hot Sprlngi, Netc Zealand 



NEW IMPRESSION 



LONGMANS, GEEEN, AND CO, 

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON 
NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA 

1912 



Mr- 



All rights reserved 



First printed, 8vo. January 1886; Reprinted 
February 1886 (three times) ; March 1886 (twice). 

New and Cheaper Edition, crown 8vo. April 1886 
(printed three times) ; Reprinted May 1886 (twice) ; 
June 1886 (twice) ; July 1886 ; August 1886 (twice) ; 
November 1886; October 1888; December 1891; 
November 1894 ; 7n 1907, and September 1911. 

Reprinted for ' THE SILVER LIBRARY ' June 1898; 
, JpnJ 1907, and 4u0twJ 1911. 



PEEFAOE. 



( HAVE explained so fully in this work my reasons for writing 
it, that a further account of those reasons would be super- 
fluous. I might therefore, so far, let it go out into the world 
on its own merits, without an additional word. 

Some kind of preface, however, is recommended by custom, 
to which it is always becoming to conform. 

I avail myself therefore of the opportunity, first, to thank 
Lord ELPHINSTONB, who was my companion during the more 
interesting part of my journey, for the use which he has 
allowed me to make of bis portfolio of sketches ; secondly, to 
thank Mr. Valentine, of Auckland, for the use which I have 
made of two of his excellent photographs of the New Zealand 
Terraces ; and thirdly, to request my Colonial readers, when 
they find me quoting anonymous opinions or conversations, to 
abstain from guesses, which will necessarily be fruitless, at the 
persons to whom I am referring. 

The object of my voyage was not only to see the Colonies 
themselves, but to hear the views of all classes of people there 
on the subject in which I was principally interested. 

Where there is obviously no objection, or where I have 
reason to know that the speakers themselves entertain no 
objection, I give the names myself. Where I do not give the 
names, although I introduce nothing which was not said to 
me by someone worth attending to, I have involved my de- 
scription with details of time, place, circumstance, and initials, 
all or most of which are intentionally misleading. 

J. A. F. 

ONSLOW GAKUKNS : December 6, 1886. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

MM 

Fhe dream of Sir James Harrington The expansion of the English race 
The American colonies Second group of coloniesColonial manage- 
ment Policy of separation The England of political economists 
Population and national greatness Popular desire for union Indif- 
ference of statesmen Difficulties The problem not insoluble . 1 

CHAPTEK II. 

The Children of the Sea The ' Australasian ' Company on board Storm 
in the Channel Leave Plymouth Great Circle saibng Sea studies 
Emigrants An Irishman s experience Virgil Metaphysical specula- 
tions Old measurement of time Tenerifle Bay of Santa Cruz 
Sunday at sea Approach to the Cape .16 

CHAPTEB III. 

The Cape Colony The Dutch settlement Transfer to England Abolition 
of slavery Injustice to the Dutch Emigration of the Boers Efforts 
at reconquest The Orange River treaty Broken by England The 
war Treaty of Aliwal North Discovery of diamonds Treaty again 
broken British policy at Kimberley Personal tour in South Africa 
Lord Carnarvon proposes a Conference Compensation paid to the 
Orange Free State Annexation of the Transvaal War with the Dutch 
Peace Fresh difficulties Expedition of Sir Charles Warren . 82 

CHAPTER IV. 

Arrive at Cape Town A disagreeable surprise Interviewers State of 
feeling Contradictory opinions Prospects of Sir Charles Warren's 
expedition Mr. Upington Sir Hercules Robinson English policy in 
South Africa . 68 

CHAPTER V. 

The Indian Ocean New Tear's night at sea Extreme cold Wave and 
currents The albatross Passengers' amusements Modern voyages 
The ' Odyssey ' Spiritual truth Continued cold at midsummer . . 62 

CHAPTER VL 

Kirst Sight of Australia Bay of Adelaide Sunday morning The harbour- 
master Go on shore The port Houses Gardens Adelaide" City 
The public gardens Beauty of them New acquaintances The Aus- 
tralian magpie The laughing jackass Interviewers Talk of con- 
federation Sail for Melbourne Aspect of the coast Williamstown . 71 



vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VIL 

MM 

Landing at Melbourne First impression of the city Sir Henry Loch 
Government House Party assembled there Agitation about New 
Guinea The Monroe doctrine in the Pacific Melbourne gardens 
Victorian society The Premier Federation, local und imperial Tht 
Astronomer Royal The Observatory English institutions reproduced 
Proposed tour in the Colony Melbourne amusements Music The 
theatre Sunday at Melbourne Night at the Observatory . . .81 

CHAPTER VIIL 

Expedition into the interior of the Colony Mr. Gillies Special train- 
Approaches to Ballarat The rabbit plague A squatter's station 
Ercildoun and its inhabitants Ballarat Gold- mining Australian 
farms A cottage garden Lake and park Fiin and flower culture 
Municipal hospitality . . .101 

CHAPTER IX. 

Bendigo Sandhurst Descent into a gold mine Hospitalities Desire for 
confederation Mount Macedon Summer residence of the Governor 
Sir George Verdon St. Hubert's Wine-growing Extreme heat 
Mr. Castella Expedition to Fernshaw Gigantic trees A picnic A 
forest fire Return to Melbourne . . . 116 

CHAPTER X. 

Colonial clubs Melbourne Political talk Anxieties about England- 
Federation Carlyle's opinions Democracy and national character 
Melbourne society General aspects Probable future of the Colony 129 

CHAPTER XI. 

The train to Sydney Aspect of the country Sir Henry Parkes The Aus- 
tralian Club The public gardens The Soudan contingent Feeling of 
the Colony about it An Opposition minority Mr. Dalley Introduc- 
tion to him Day on Sydney Harbour The flag-ship Sir James Martin 
Admiral Tryon The colonial navy Sir Alfred Stephen Sunday at 
Sydney Growth of the town Excursions in the neighbourhood 
Paramatta River Temperament of the Australians . . . 139 

CHAPTER XIL 

Visit to MOM Vale Lord Augustus Loftus Position of a Governor in 
New South Wales Lady Augustus Chinese servant* English news- 
papers Dinner-party conversations A brave and true bishop Sydney 
harbour once more Conversation with Mr. Dalley on Imperial Federa- 
tionObjections to proposed schemes The Navy The English flag . 171 

CHAPTER XIH. 

Alternative prospects of the Australian colonies Theory of the value of 
colonies in the last century Modern desire for union Proposed 
schemes Representation Proposal for Colonial Peers Federal Par- 
liament impossible Organised emigration Danger of hasty measures 
Distribution of honours Advantages and disadvantages of party 
government in colonies Last words on South Africa . . . .184 



CONTENTS vii 

CHAPTEB XIV. 

PAOI 

Sail for New Zealand The 'City of Sydney 'Chinese stewards An Irish 
priest Miscellaneous passengers The American captain and his crew 
The North Cape Climate and soil of New Zealand Auckland 
Sleeping volcanoes Mount Eden Bishop Selwyn's church and resi- 
denceWork and wages The Northern Club Hospitalities Harbour 
works Tendency to crowd into towns Industries A Senior Wrangler 
Sir George Grey Plans for sightseeing . . . 198 

CHAPTER XV. 

Tour in the interior of the North Island Aspect of the country A colonial 
magnate Federation, and the conditions of it The Maori Cambridge 
at the Antipodes The Waikato Valley Colonial administration 
Oxford A forest drive The Lake Country Rotorua Ohinemntn 
The mineral baths A Maori settlement The Lake Hotel . . .219 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Road to the Terraces The Blue Lake Wairoa An evening walk The 
rival guides Native entertainments Tarawara Lake A Maori girl 
The White Terrace Geysers Volcanic mud-heaps A hot lake A 
canoe ferry Kate and Marileha The Pink Terrace A bath A boiling 
pool Beauty of colour- -Return to Wairoa and Ohinemutu . . 239 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Ohinemntn again Visitors A Maori village An old woman and her 
portrait Mokoia island The inhabitants Maori degeneracy Return 
to Auckland Rumours of war with Russia Wars of the future Pro- 
bable change in their character . . . 252 

CHAPTEB XVIII. 

Sir George Grey's Island Climate House Curiosities Sir George's 
views on Cape politics His hobbies Opinions on federation Island 
retainers Their notion of liberty Devotion to their employer Birds 
and Animals Expedition into the interior A Maori dining-hall 
Shark-fishing Caught in a storm Run for the mainland A New 
Zealand farm and its occupants End of visit to Sir George Auckland 
society Professor Aldis General impression on the state of New 
Zealand Growth of state debt and municipal debt Seeming approach 
of war Party government . . . 262 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Bail for America The 'Australia' Heavy weather A New Zealand 
colonist Easter in the Southern Hemisphere Occupations on board- 
Samoa A missionary Parliamentary government in the Pacific 
Islands A young Australian The Sandwich Islands Honolulu 
American influence Bay of San Francisco . . .28$ 

CHAPTER XX. 

rhe American Union The Civil War and the results of it Effect of the 
Union on the American character San Francisco Palace Hotel The 
Market The clubs Aspect of the city Califoraian temperament 



rifl CONTEXTS 

Mi 

The Pacific Railway Alternative routes Start for New Tork Sacra- 
mento Valley The Sierra Nevada Indian territory Salt Lake Tb 
Mormons The Rocky Mountains Canon of the Rio Grande The 
prairies Chicago New York and ita wonders The ' Etruria 'Fastest 
passage on record Liverpool ......... 804 

CHAPTER XXI. 

The English Empire more easily formed than preserved Parliamentary 
party government Policy of disintegration chort-pifjhted and destruc- 
tive Probable effect of separation on the colonies Rejected by opinion 
in England Democracy Power and tendency of it The British race 
Forces likely to produce union Natural forces to be trusted Un- 
natural to be distrusted If England is true to herself the colonies will 
be true to England 880 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 

HOT SPRINGS, New ZEALAND .,.. Title-pap 

LAKE ROTORDA, FEOM OHINEMCTD, NEW ZEALAND . J, Frontispiece 
STDNKT OAHDENB . .,.* . . To face fage 144 

SIB QKOBOE QUIT'S HOUSE, NEW ZEALAND 817 

HINEMUIA'S BATH, NEW ZEALAND "., 236 

THK WHITS TERRACE, NEW ZEALAND . . . n 246 

THB PINK TERRACE, NEW ZEALAND . . . . 250 

A SCENE AT OHINEMUTO, NEW ZEALAND . . . m 264 

4 MAORI BANQUET HAT.TI, NEW ZEALAND ... 274 



p 



CE A N A, 



CHAPTER I. 

The dream of Sir James Harrington The expansion of the English race The 
American colonies Second group of colonies Colonial management 
Policy of separation The England of political economists Population and 
national greatness Popular desire for union Indifference of statesmen 
Difficulties The problem not insoluble. 

IN the seventeenth century, when the once brilliant star of 
Spain was hastening to its setting, when the naval supremacy 
which Spain had once claimed and made her own was trans- 
ferred to Great Britain and Holland, and when the superior 
power of Great Britain, her insular position and her larger 
population, had assured to her rather than to the Dutch Re- 
public the sceptre of the sea, Sir James Harrington, in a 
sketch of a perfect commonwealth, half real, half ideal, which 
he addressed to the Protector, described the future destiny 
which he believed to be reserved for the Scotch, English, and 
Anglo- Irish nations. 

' The situation of these countries, being islands (as appears 
by Venice how advantageous such an one is to the b'ke 
government), seems to have been designed by God for a com- 
monwealth. And yet Venice, through the straitness of the 
place and defect of proper arms, can be no more than a 
commonwealth for preservation ; whereas Oceana, reduced to 
a like government, is a commonwealth for increase, and upon 



* OCEANA 

the mightiest foundation that any has been laid from the 
beginning of the world to this day 

Illam arcti *niens Neptunus compede stringit, 
Hanc autem captua giaucis amplectitor ulnia. 

The sea gives the law to the growth of Venice, but the growth 
of Oceana gives the Jaw to the sea.' 

In the two centuries and a half which have passed over us 
since these words were written, the increase of Oceana has 
exceeded the wildest dream of the most extravagant enthusiast. 
Harrington would have been himself incredulous had he been 
told that, within a period so brief in the life of nations, more 
than fifty million Anglo-Saxons would be spread over the vast 
continent of North America, carrying with them their religion, 
their laws, their language, and their manners ; that the globe 
would be circled with their fleets ; that in the Southern 
Hemisphere they would be in possession of territories larger 
than Europe, and more fertile than the richest parts of it ; 
that wherever they went they would carry with them the 
genius of English freedom. Yet the vision is but half accom- 
plished. The people have gone out, they have settled, they 
have cultivated the land, they have multiplied, and although 
the population of Great Britain and Ireland is now seven-fold 
greater than it was in the Protectorate of Cromwell, the 
number of our kindred in these new countries is already 
double that which remains in the mother country ; but Har- 
rington contemplated that Oceana would be a single common- 
wealth embraced in the arms of Neptune, and the spell which 
can unite all these communities into one has not yet been 
discovered. The element on which he calculated to ensure 
the combination the popular form of government has been 
itself the cause which has prevented it. One free people can- 
not govern another free people. The inhabitants of a province 
retain the instincts which they brought with them. They can 
ill bear that their kindred at home shall have rights and 
liberties from which they are excluded. The mother country 
struggles to retain its authority, while it is jealous of extend- 
ing its privileges of citizenship. Being itself self-governed, it* 



NORTH AMERICAN COLONIES 3 

elected rulers consider the interests and the wishes of the 
electors whom they represent, and those only. The provincial, 
or the colonist, being unrepresented, suffers some actual in- 
justice and imagines more. He conceives that he is deprived 
of his birthright. He cannot submit to an inferior position, 
and the alternative arises whether the mother country shall 
part with its empire or part with its own liberties. Free 
Athens established a short-lived dominion. Her subordinate 
states hated her and revolted from her, though the same states 
submitted quietly immediately after to the Macedonian despot- 
ism. Republican Rome conquered the civilised world, but 
kept it only by ceasing to be a republic. Venice, which Har- 
rington quotes, reserved her constitution for herself, ruling her 
dependencies by deputy. They envied her liberties. They did 
not share in her glories or her wealth, and she ceased to be 
what Harrington calls her, even a commonwealth for preserva- 
tion. The English in North America had little to thank UB 
for. Many of them had fled thither to escape from religious 
or political tyranny. They had forgotten their resentment. 
They were attached to the old home by custom, by feeling, by 
the pride of country, which in Englishmen is a superstition. 
They were bitterly unwilling to leave us. But when we refused 
them representation in the British Legislature, when English 
ministers, looking only, as they were obliged to look, to the 
British constituencies, hampered their trade, tied them down 
under Navigation Laws, and finally would have laid taxes on 
them with or without their own assent, they were too English 
themselves to submit to a tyranny which England had thrown 
off. The principles established by the Long Parliament were 
stronger than national affection. The first great branch of 
Oceana was broken off, and became what we now see it to be 
the truest, in the opinion of some, to the traditions of 
Harrington's commonwealth, and therefore growing or to 
grow into the main stem of the tree. 

But the parent stock wag still prolific. The American 
provinces were gone. New shoots sprang out again, and 
Oceana was reconstituted once more ; this time, in a form and 
in a quarter more entirely suited to our naval genius, in the 

" u 2 



4 OCEANA 

great islands of the South Sea, and at the south point of 
Africa commanding the sea route to Indii. The mistakes of 
George the Third and Lord North were not repeated in the 
same form, but the spirit in which they were made reappeared, 
and could not fail to reappear. The Colonial Minister at home 
and the Colonial Office represent the British Parliament. The 
British Parliament represents the British constituencies, and 
to them and to their interests, and their opinions, the minister, 
whoever he be, and to whatever party he belongs, is obliged to 
look. The colonies having no one to speak for them, were 
again sacrificed so long as it was possible to sacrifice them. 
They were used as convict stations till they rose in wrath and 
refused to receive our refuse any more. Their patronage, 
their civil appointments, judgeships, secretaryships, <fcc., were 
given as rewards for political services at home, or at the 
instance of politically powerful friends. It cannot be other- 
wise: so long as party government continues, and Secretaries 
of State have the nomination to public offices, they are com- 
pelled (as a high official once put it to me) ' to blood the noses 
of their own hounds.' Willingly enough they surrendered 
most of these appointments when the colonies claimed them. 
It is possible that for the governorships which the Crown 
retains, the fittest men to occupy them are bond fide sought 
for ; yet it is whispered that other considerations still have 
weight. Nay, when one such appointment was made a few 
years back, we were drawn into a war in consequence, because 
some one was the greatest bore in the House of Commons, 
and there was a universal desire that he should be sent 
elsewhere. 

More serious were the differences which rose continually 
between the mother country and the colonists respecting the 
treatment of the native population, whether in Africa, Aus- 
tralia, or New Zealand. The colonists being on the spot, 
desired, and desire, to keep the natives under control ; to fonn 
them into habits of industry, to compel them by fear to respect 
property and observe the laVs. Naturally too, being them- 
selves willing to cultivate the soil, they have not looked very 
scrupulously to the rights of savages over fertile districts of 



MANAGEMENT OF NATIVE RACES 5 

which they made no use themselves nor would allow others to 
use them ; and sometimes by purchase, sometimes by less 
respectable means, they have driven the natives off their old 
ground and taken possession of it themselves. The people at 
home in England, knowing nothing of the practical difficulties, 
and jealous for the reputation of their country, have obliged 
their ministers to step between the colonists and the natives: 
irritating the whites by accusations either wholly false or 
beyond the truth, and misleading the coloured races into acts 
of aggression or disobedience, in which they look for support 
which they have not found. Never able to persist in any 
single policy, and producing therefore the worst possible results, 
we first protect these races in an independence which they have 
been unable to use wisely, and are then driven ourselves into 
wars with them by acts which they would never have committed 
if the colonists and they had been left to arrange their mutual 
relations alone. 

The situation has been extremely difficult. It cannot be 
wondered at, that when war followed on war in New Zealand 
and South Africa, and British money was spent, and British 
troops were employed in killing Maoris and Caffres who had 
done us no harm, and whose crime was believed by many of us 
to be no more than the possession of land which others coveted, 
public opinion at home grew impatient. Long bills for these 
wars appeared in the Budgets year after year. Political 
economists began to ask what was the use of colonies which 
contributed nothing to the Imperial exchequer, while they were 
a constant expense to the taxpayer. They had possessed a 
value once as a market for English productions, but after the 
establishment of free trade the world was our market. The 
colonies, as part of the world, would still buy of us, and would 
continue to do so, whether as British dependencies or as free. 
In case of war we should be obliged to defend them and to 
scatter our force in doing it. They gave us nothing. They 
cost us much. They were a mere ornament, a useless respon- 
sibility : we did not pause to consider whether, even if it were 
true that the colonies were at present a burden to us, we were 
entitled to cut men of our own blood and race thus adrift 



6 OCEANA 

after having encouraged them to form settlements under our 
flag. Both parties in the State had been irritated in turn by 
their experience in Downing Street, and for once both were 
agreed. The troops were withdrawn from Canada, from Aus- 
tralia, from New Zealand. A single regiment only was to 
have been left at the Cape to protect our naval station. The 
unoccupied lands, properly the inheritance of the collective 
British nation whole continents large as a second United 
States were hurriedly abandoned to the local colonial govern- 
ments. They were equipped with constitutions modelled after 
our own, which were to endure as long as the connection with 
the mother country was maintained ; but they were informed, 
more or less distinctly, that they were as birds hatched in a 
nest whose parents would be charged with them only till they 
could provide for themselves, and the sooner they were ready 
for complete independence, the better the mother country would 
be pleased. 

This was the colonial policy avowed in private by respon- 
sible statesmen, and half confessed in public fifteen years ago. 
And thus it seemed that the second group of territorial ac- 
quisitions which English enterprise had secured was to follow 
the first. The American provinces had been lost by invasion 
of their rights. The rest were to be thrown away as valueless. 
The separation might be called friendly, but the tone which 
we assumed was as offensive to the colonists as the intended 
action was unwelcome, and if they were obliged to leave us 
it would not be as friends that we should part. The English 
people too had not been treated fairly. A policy so far- 
reaching ought to have been fully explained to them, and not 
ventured on without their full consent. A frank avowal of 
an intention to shake the colonies oil' would have been fatal to 
the ministry that made it. Ambiguous expressions were ex- 
plained away when challenged. We were told that self-govern- 
ment had been given to the colonies only to attach them to us 
more completely, while measures were taken and language 
was used which were indisputably designed to lead to certain 
and early disintegration. 

The intention was an open secret among all leading states- 



POLICY OF SEPARATION f 

men, if it can be called a secret at all, and in the high political 
circles the result was regarded as assured. ' It is no use,' said 
an eminent Colonial Office secretary to myself when I once 
remonstrated, 'to speak about it any longer. The thing is 
done. The great colonies are gone. It is but a question of a 
year or two.' 

Those were the days of progress by leaps and bounds, of 
' unexampled prosperity,' of the apparently boundless future 
which the repeal of the Corn Laws had opened upon British 
industry and trade. The fate of Great Britain was that it was 
to become the world's great workshop. Her people were to be 
kept at home and multiply. With cheap labour and cheap 
coal we could defy competition, and golden streams would flow 
down in ever-gathering volumes over landowners and mill- 
owners and shipowners. . . . The ' hands ' and the ' hands' ' 
wives and children ? Oh yes, they too would do very well . 
wages would rise, food would be cheap, employment constant. 
The colonies brought us nothing. The empire brought us 
nothing, save expense for armaments and possibilities of foreign 
complications. Shorn of these wild shoots we should be like 
an orchard tree pruned of its luxuriance, on which the fruit 
would grow richer and more abundant. 

It was a fine theory, especially for those fortunate ones 
who could afford parks and deer forests and yachts in the 
Solent, who would not feel in their own persons the ugly side 
of it. But the wealth of a nation depends in the long run 
upon the conditions, mental and bodily, of the people of whom 
it consists, and the experience of all mankind declares that a 
race of men sound in soul and limb can be bred and reared 
only in the exercise of plough and spade, in the free air and 
sunshine, with country enjoyments and amusements, never 
amidst foul drains and smoke blacks and the eternal clank of 
machinery. And in the England which these politicians 
desiamed for us there would be no country left save the 
pleasure grounds and game preserves of the rich. All else 
would be town. There would be no room in any other shape 
for the crowded workmen who were to remain as the creators 
of the wealth. What England would become was to be seen 



8 OCEANA 

already in the enormously extended suburbs of London and 
our great manufacturing cities : miles upon miles of squalid 
lanes, each house the duplicate of its neighbour; the dirty 
street in front, the dirty yard behind, the fetid smell from the 
ill-made sewers, the public house at the street corners. Here, 
with no sight of a green field, with no knowledge of flowers or 
forest, the blue heavens themselves dirtied with soot amidst 
objects all mean and hideous, with no entertainment but the 
music hall, no pleasure but in the drink shop hundreds of 
thousands of English children are now growing up into men 
and women. And were these scenes to be indefinitely multi- 
plied ? Was this to be the real condition of an ever-increasing 
portion of the English nation f And was it to be supposed 
that a race of men could be so reared who could carry on the 
great traditions of our country ^ I for one could not believe 
it. The native vigour of our temperament might defy the 
influence of such a life for a quarter or for half a century. 
Experience, even natural probability, declared that the grand- 
children of the occupants of these dens must be sickly, poor 
and stunted wretches whom no school teaching, however 
excellent, could save from physical decrepitude. 

The tendency of people in the later stages of civilisation 
to gather into towns is an old story. Horace had seen in 
Rome what we are now witnessing in England, the fields 
deserted, the people crowding into cities. He noted the grow- 
ing degeneracy. He foretold the inevitable consequences. 

Non his juventns orta parent ibus 
Infecit a-quor sanguine Punico, 
Pyrrhumque et ingentem cecidit 

Antiochum, Hannibalemque dinub i 
Bed rusticorum mascula militum 
Proles, Sabellis docta ligonibns 
Vereare glebas, et sever* 

Mains ad arbitrium recisos 
Portare fustes. 1 

1 They did not spring from sires like these, 
The noble youth who dyed the seaa 

With Carthaginian gore ; 
Who great Antiochus overcame, 

And Hannibal of yon ; 



THE ENGLISH RACE g 

And Horace was a true prophet. The Latin peasant, the 
legionary of the Punic wars, had ceased to exist. He had 
drifted into the cities, where he could enjoy himself at the 
circus, and live chiefly on free rations. The virtue virtus 
manliness was gone out of him. Slaves tilled the old farms, 
Gauls and Spaniards and Thracians took his place in the army. 
In the Senate and in the professions the Roman was supplanted 
by the provincial. The corruption spread. The strength 
which had subdued the world melted finally away. The 
German and the Hun marched in over the Imperial border, 
and Roman civilisation was at an end. 

There is not much fear in England (spite of recent strange 
political phenomena) that we shall see idle city mobs sustained 
on free grants of corn ; but a population given over to em- 
ployments which must and will undermine the physical vigour 
of the race, generations of children growing under conditions 
which render health impossible, will come to the same thing. 
Decay is busy at the heart of them, and the fate of Rome 
seemed to me likely to be the fate of England if she became 
what the political economists desired to see her. That ' man 
shall not live by bread alone ' is as true as ever it was ; true 
for week days as well as Sundays, for common sense as for 
theology. These islands cannot bear a larger population than 
they have at present without peril to soul and body. It ap- 
peared as if the genius of England, anticipating the inevitable 
increase, had provided beforehand for the distribution of it. 
English enterprise had occupied the fairest spots upon the 
globe where there was still soil and sunshine boundless and 
life-giving ; where the race might for ages renew its mighty 
youth, bring forth as many millions as it would, and would 
still have means to breed and rear them strong as the best 
which she had produced in her early prime. The colonist* 

But they of rustic warriors wight 
The manly offspring learned to smite 

The soil with Sabine spade, 
And faggots they had to cut to bear 
Home from the forest whensoe'er 

An austere mother bade. MARTIN'S florae*, Odes ili 6. 



to OCEANA 

might be paying us no revenue, but they were opening up the 
face of the earth. By -and- by, like the spreading branches of 
a forest tree, they would return the sap which they were 
gathering into the heart. England could pour out among 
them, in return, year after year, those poor children of hers 
now choking in fetid alleys, and, relieved of the strain, breathe 
again fresh air into her own smoke-encrusted lungs. With 
her colonies part of herself, she would be. as Harrington 
had foreshadowed, a commonwealth resting on the mightiest 
foundations which the world had ever seen. Queen among 
the nations, from without invulnerable, and at peace and at 
health within, this was the alternative future lying before 
Oceana : in every way more desirable than the economic. 
Unlike other good things it was easy of attainment ; we had 
but to stretch our hand out to secure it; yet we sat still 
doing nothing as if enchanted, while the Sibyl was tearing out 
page on page from the Book of Destiny. 

Impossible ! the politicians said : yet it was not impossible 
for the United States to refuse to be divided. The United 
States tore their veins open and spilt their blood in torrents 
that they might remain one people. There was no need for 
any blood to be shed to keep us one people, yet we talked 
placidly of impossibilities. The United States, it was said, 
were parts of a single continent. No ocean ran between south 
and north, or east and west. Our colonies were dispersed 
over the globe. What Nature had divided, man could not 
bind together ; without continuity of soil there could be no 
single empire. Excuses are not wanting when the will is 
wanting. The ocean which divides, combines also ; and had 
the problem been theirs and not ours, the Americans would 
perhaps have found that the sea is the easiest of highways, 
which telegraph wires underlie and steamers traverse with the 
ease and certainty of railway cars. ' Impossibility ' is a word 
of politicians who are without the wish or without the capacity 
to comprehend new conditions. An ' empire ' of Oceana there 
cannot be. The English race do not like to be parts of an 
empire. But a ' commonwealth ' of Oceana held together by 
common blood, common interest, and a common pride in the 



OBJECTIONS TO UNION n 

great position which unity can secure such a commonwealth 
as this may grow of itself if politicians can be induced to leave 
it alone. 

As the colonies have been hitherto dealt with made use 
of in the interests of the mother country as long as they would 
submit, and then called valueless, and advised to take them- 
selves away they are in no mood for a union which may 
bring them again under the authority of Downing Street. 
But affronts have not estranged them. They have been in 
no haste to meet the offer of independence. They claim still 
their share in the inheritance of the nation from which they 
have sprung. British they are and British they wish to 
remain, arid impossible as it is to weld together two pieces of 
steel while below the welding temperature, let the desire for 
a union of equality rise in England and rise in the colonies to 
sufficient heat, the impossibility will become a possibility, and 
of political possibilities the easiest. 

Our people stream away from us. Out of the hundreds of 
thousands of English, Scots, and Irish who annually leave our 
shores, eighty per cent, have gone hitherto to the United 
States, and only the remaining fraction to the countries over 
which our own flag is flying. I once asked the greatest, or at 
least the most famous, of modern English statesmen whether, in 
the event of a great naval war, we might not look for help to 
the 60,000 Canadian seamen and fishermen. ' The Canadian 
seamen,' he said, ' belong to Canada, not to us ; ' and then 
going to the distribution of our emigrants, he insisted that 
there was not a single point in which an Englishman settling 
in Canada or Australia was of more advantage to us than as 
a citizen of the American Union. The use of him was as a 
purchaser of English manufactures that was all. Sir Arthur 
Helps told me a story singularly illustrative of the importance 
which the British official mind has hitherto allowed to the 
distant scions of Oceana. A Government had gone Out ; 
Lord Palmerston was forming a new ministry, and in a pre- 
liminary council was arranging the composition of it. He 
had filled up the other places. He was at a loss for a Colonial 
Secretary. This name and that was suggested, and thrown 



ta OCEANA 

aside. At last he said, 'I suppose I must take the thing 
myself. Come upstairs with me, Helps, when the council ia 
over. We will look at the maps and you shall show me 
where these places are.' 

The temper represented in this cool indifference is passing 
away. The returns of trade show in the first place that 
commerce follows the Sag. Our colonists take three times 
as much of our productions in proportion to their numbers as 
foreigners take. The difference increases rather than dimi- 
nishes, and the Australian, as a mere consumer, is more 
valuable to us than the American. What more he may be, 
his voluntary presence at Suakin has indicated for him to all 
the world. But more than this. It has become doubtful 
even to the political economist whether England can trust 
entirely to free trade and competition to keep the place which 
she has hitherto held. Other nations press us with their 
rivalries. Expenses increase, manufactures languish or cease 
to profit. Revenue, once so expansive, becomes stationary. 
' Business ' may, probably will, blaze up again, but the growth 
of it can no longer be regarded as constant, while population 
increases and hungry stomachs multiply, requiring the throe 
meals a day whatever the condition of the markets. Hence 
those among us who have disbelieved all along that a great 
nation can venture its whole fortunes safely on the power of 
underselling its neighbours in calicoes and iron -work no longer 
address a public opinion entirely cold. It begins to be ad- 
mitted that were Canada and South Africa and Australia and 
New Zealand members of one body with us, with a free flow 
of our population into them, we might sit secure against shifts 
and changes. In the multiplying number of our own fellow- 
citizens animated by a common spirit, we should have pur- 
chasers for our goods from whom we should fear no rivalry ; 
we should turn in upon them the tide of our emigrants which 
now flows away, while the emigrants themselves would thrive 
under their own fig tree, and rear children with stout limbs 
and colour in their cheeks, and a chance before them of a 
human existence. Oceana would then rest on sure founda- 
tions ; and her navy the hand of her strength and the symbol 



ORGANIC UNION ij 

of her unity would ride securely in self-supporting stations 
in the four quarters of the globe. 

To the magnificence of such an Oceana, were it but attain- 
able, the dullest imagination can no longer blind itself. But 
how 1 but how ? the impatient politician asks. We may 
dream, but he must act. He has heard of no scheme of union 
which is not impracticable on the face of it, and because we 
cannot give him a constitution ready made he shuts his ears. 
Tie can do nothing better. We do not ask him to act ; we 
ask him only to leave things alone. An acorn will not expand 
into an oak if the forester is for ever digging at its roots and 
clipping its young shoots. Constitutions, commonwealths, are 
not manufactured to pattern ; they grow, if they grow at all, 
by internal impulse. The people of England have made the 
colonies. The people at home and the people in the colonies 
are one people. The feeling of identity is perhaps stronger in 
the colonies than at home. They are far away, and things to 
which we are indifferent because we have them are precious 
in the distance. There is fresh blood in those young countries. 
Sentiment remains a force in them, as it is in boys, and has 
survived the chilly winds which have blown from Downing 
Street : the sentiment itself is life ; and when the people desire 
that it shall take organic form, the rest will be easy. If 
statesmen had not in other days overcome greater difficulties 
than any which are then likely to present themselves, the 
English nation would have dragged out an obscure existence 
within the limits of its own islands, and would not have made 
the noise in the world which it has done. 

No such commonwealth as Harrington imagined for his 
Oceana was, or ever can be, more than Utopia. Harrington, 
like the Abbe* Si6yes, believed that constitutions could be made 
in a closet, and fitted like a coat to the back. But the arduous 
part of it is no longer to create : it is an achieved fact. The 
land is our possession. We ourselves the forty- five millions 
of British subjects, those at home and those already settled 
upon it are a realised family which desires not to be divided. 
If there have been family differences, they have not yet risen 
into discord. The past cannot be wholly undone by soft 



M OCEANA 

words and a mere change of tone in political circles. We and 
the colonists have lived apart and have misunderstood one 
another. They require to be convinced that the people of 
England have never shared in the views of their leaders We 
have been indifferent, and occupied with our own affairs ; but 
we, the people, always regarded them as our kindred, bone of 
our bone and flesh of our flesh. They will never submit again 
to be ruled from England. The branch is not ruled by the 
stem ; the leaf does not ask the branch what form it shall 
assume, or the flower ask what shall be its colour ; but if the 
colonists know that as their feeling is to us so is ours to them, 
branch, leaf, and flower will remain incorporate upon the 
stem, aiming at no severed existence, and all together, indis- 
pensable each to each and mutually strengthening each other, 
will form one majestic organism which may defy the storms of 
fate. 

So I, many years ago, as a student of England's history 
and believing in its future greatness, imagined for myself the 
Oceana that might be. But having no personal knowledge of 
the colonies, I could but preach vaguely from the pulpits of 
reviews and magazines, and, finding my sermons as useless as 
such compositions generally are, I determined myself to make 
a tour among them, to talk to their leading men, see their 
countries and what they were doing there, learn their feelings, 
and correct my impressions of what could or could not be 
done. I set out for this purpose. Accident detained me at 
the Cape of Good Hope, entangled me in Cape politics, and 
consumed the leisure which I could then spare. After an 
interval of ten years, finding that I had still strength enough 
for such an enterprise, and time and opportunity permitting, 
I resumed my dropped intention. I do not regret the delay. 
In the interval the colonies have shown more clearly than 
before that they are as much English as we are, and deny our 
right to part with them. At home the advocates of separa- 
tion have been forced into silence, and the interest in the 
subject has grown into practical anxiety. The union which 
o many of us now hope for may prove an illusion after 
all. The feelina which exists on both sides UKIV )>< ;i warm 



THE OTHER ENGLANDS If 

one, but not warm enough to heat us, as I said, to the welding 
point. 

Tavra 6e>v iv yowatrt Kctrat* 

The event, whatever it is to be, lies already determined, the 
philosophers tell us, in the chain of causation. What is to 
be, will be. But it is not more determined than all else which 
is to happen to us, and the determination does not make us 
sit still and wait till it comes. Among the causes are included 
our own exertions, and each of us must do what he can, be it 
small or great, as this course or that seems good and right to 
him. If we work on the right side, coral insects as we are, 
we may contribute something not wholly useless to the general 
welfare. 

However this may be, in the closing years of my own life 
I have secured for myself a delightful experience. I have 
travelled through lands where patriotism is not a sentiment to 
be laughed at not, as Johnson denned it, ' the last refuge of 
a scoundrel,' but an active passion where I never met a 
hungry man or saw a discontented face where, in the softest 
and sweetest air, and in an unexhausted soil, the fable of 
Midas is reversed, food does not turn to gold, but the gold with 
which the earth is teeming converts itself into farms and vine- 
yards, into flocks and herds, into crops of wild luxuriance, 
into cities whose recent origin is concealed and compensated 
by trees and flowers where children grow who seem once 
more to understand what was meant by ' merry England.' 
Amidst the uncertainties which are gathering round us at 
home a future so obscure that the wisest men will least 
venture a conjecture what that future will be, it is something 
to have seen with our own eyes that there are other Englands 
besides the old one, where the race is thriving with all itg 
ancient characteristics. Those who take 'leaps in the dark,' 
as we are doing, may find themselves in unexpected places be- 
fore they recover the beaten tracks again. But let Fate do its 
worst, the family of Oceana is still growing, and will have a 
sovereign voice in the coming fortunes of mankind. 



OCEANA 



CHAPTER IT. 

The Children of the Sea The Australa-sian 'Company on board Storm in 
the Channel Leave Plymouth Great Circle sailing Sea studies Emi- 
grants An Irishman's experience Virgil Metaphysical speculations 
Old measurement of time TenerifTe Bay of Santa Cruz Sunday at Sea 
Approach to the Cape. 

AFTER their own island, the sea is the natural home of 
Englishmen ; the Norse blood is in us, and we rove over the 
waters, for business or pleasure, as eagerly as our ancestors. 
Four-fifths of the carrying trade of the world is done by the 
English. When we grow rich, our chief delight is a yacht. 
When we are weary with hard work, a sea voyage is our most 
congenial ' retreat.' On the ocean no post brings us letters 
which we are compelled to answer. No newspaper tempts us 
into reading the last night's debate in Parliament, or sends our 
attention wandering, like the fool's eyes, to the ends of the 
earth. The sea breezes carry health upon their wings, and fan 
us at night into sweet dreamless sleep. Itself eternally young, 
the blue infinity of water teaches us to forget that we ourselves 
are old. For the time we are beyond the reach of change we 
live in the present ; and the absence of distracting incidents, 
the sameness of the scene, and the uniformity of life on board 
ship, leave us leisure for reflection ; we are thrown in upon 
our own thoughts, and can make up our accounts with our 
consciencea 

Thus, in setting out for Australia, I resolved to go by the 
long sea route long it is called, but with the speed of modern 
steamers scarcely longer than the road through the Suez Canal. 
I should have an opportunity, as we went by, of seeing my old 
friends at Cape Town. I should make acquaintance with the 
grand waves of the Southern Ocean ; I should see albatrosses, 
and Cape hens, and sea hawks, which follow passing ships for 
thousands of miles ; above all, I should have six weeks of 
quiet, undisturbed even by a visitor before I reached the 
(Ionics, and had again to exert myself. My son was to go 
with me. fresh from Oxford and his degree. His he.-ilth. as 



THE ' AUSTRALASIAN' 17 

well as mine, required change, and before he settled into the 
work of his life, I wished him to enlarge his knowledge of 
things. Him I shall call A. Glancing over the ship adver- 
tisements in the ' Times,' I selected by chance a vessel an- 
nounced as to sail in a few days, belonging to a small and as yet 
little- known line of Aberdeen packets. She was called the 
' Australasian,' of 4,000 tons, with improved engines which 
were said to promise speed. She was a cargo ship, carrying 
170 emigrants. The after-cabin accommodation was limited, 
but, as it turned out, amply large enough. In the moderate- 
sized but elegant saloon there was convenient rot>m perhaps 
for thirty passengers. There were but nine of us, including 
the doctor and his pretty, newly-married wife. We had each 
a state-room, spacious and well -furnished; as we were so few 
they could afford to lodge us handsomely. Half the long deck 
was appropriated for the cabin passengers' sole use, so that we 
could have been no better off in a large private yacht. The 
owners modestly warned me that the ' table ' was inferior to 
what we should have found on the established lines. We 
found, on the contrary, breakfasts and dinners superior to what 
I ever met with in any steamer in any part of the world. I 
paid the cook a compliment on the first evening, which he 
never ceased to deserve. We had a cow on board, and new 
milk every morning ; bread every day fresh from the oven, 
and porridge such as only Scotch cooks and a Scotch company 
can produce. In respect of vessel, officers, attendance, pro- 
visions of all things, great and small, on which we depend 
for our daily comforts, it had been a happy accident which led 
me to the choice of the ' Australasian.' My plan was to 
escape the Northern winter, and we therefore sailed at the 
beginning of it. We went on board at Tilbury on December 6, 
1884, and anchored for the night at the Nore. We had not till 
now seen our companions, and as we were to be shut up with 
them for six weeks, we looked at them with some anxiety. 
Besides the two whom I have mentioned, there was a London 
man of business going on a voyage for health, accompanied by 
his sister, both of them quiet, well-bred, and unobtrusive ; 
two youths with nothing especial to distinguish them ; and a 

C 



i8 OCEANA 

middle-aged gentleman, who had travelled much and had 
opinions about many things, with accomplishments, too, which 
made him both agreeable and useful. He could talk well, play 
whist well, play chess tolerably, and the saloon piano with the 
skill of a professional. Add the handsome captain, some 
thirty-two years old, with blue merry eyes, gracious, pleasant ; 
a skilful seaman, willing to talk to us about his own business, 
making us welcome to his chart room at all fitting seasons, 
ready to explain the mysteries of great circle sailing ; besides 
this, a true-hearted, brave, energetic, and really admirable 
mac. . . . These made the party who were collected three 
times each day for breakfast, luncheon, and dinner, in the 
1 Australasian's ' saloon. 

The new engines being of peculiar construction, there was 
some curiosity as to how they would work. We were accom- 
panied, therefore, as far as Plymouth, by an accomplished 
and agreeable naval engineer ; by Mr. Thompson, the chief 
manager of the company to which our vessel belonged ; by an 
Aberdeenshire gentleman, who was a director of it ; and by 
a handsome, athletic, youxig Glasgow ship-builder. We had 
reason to be glad that they went with us, especially the 
Glasgow professional. Sunday, December 7, broke wild and 
stormy. We left our anchorage soon after daybreak, wind, 
at W.S.W., blowing hard, and the barometer falling. Short 
brown waves were breaking round us in dirty foam, and a 
vessel which had steamed past us in the night lay on a sand- 
bank in the middle of the river, with the water breaking over 
her. The sky between the clouds was a pale green, sure sign 
of a gale coming. We had shelter as far as the South Fore- 
land, when we met the heavy Channel sea. A misty rain was 
falling, the air was cold, and the spray flew over us from 
stem to stern. The passengers were most of them sick, and, 
though the engineers were well satisfied and the 'Australasian' 
herself cared little for the waves, it was a dreary start. In 
all the world there is no more uncomfortable stretch of water 
than the British Channel in nasty weather. The day wore 
on ; the wet drove us below. In the saloon there wan an 
open fireplace, and a bright tire burning. We tried to road, 



NIGHT IN THE CHANNEL 1$ 

but it didn't answer ; and after dinner, which I was able to 
eat in spite of the roll, I turned in early turned in, but not 
to sleep. It is not till one lies down and tries for it that one 
becomes conscious of the multitudinous noises which go on 
during a gale : the grinding of the screw a constant quantity 
that never ceases the roar of the wind, the fierce crunch aa 
the vessel strikes the advancing waves, the slamming of doors, 
the rush of feet on deck, and the wild cry of the sailors 
hauling ropes or delivering orders. I lay in my berth for a 
good many hours, listening to all this, and fancying what it 
looked like up above, when off St. Alban's Head I felt that 
something had gone wrong. The engines stopped, the ship 
lay rolling in the trough of the sea broadside on to the waves ; 
loud voices were calling, men in their heavy sea- boots were 
trampling to and fro. Passengers are not wanted on deck o 
these occasions. I made my way to the foot of the stairs and 
called up to know what was the matter. A gruff voice advised 
me to stay below. In two hours the screw began to revolve 
again, and the mischief, whatever it was, had been repaired. 
I slept at last, and in the morning learnt what had happened. 
The ' Australasian ' was steered by steam from the bridge ; 
one of the chains had parted. They had tried to steer with 
the wheel, but in fixing the gear the rudder broke loose, flying 
to and fro and snapping the ropes, with which they were try- 
ing to secure the tiller, like packthread. Mr. R , our 

friend from Glasgow, at last mastered the difficulty, and we 
were able to go on. Fortunately we were well off the land 
and had ample sea room. The ship had rolled easily in her 
temporarily disabled state, and her behaviour had given general 
satisfaction. When I came on deck the gale had moderated, 
and we were steaming quietly along the Devonshire coast a 
few miles from Plymouth. 

At Plymouth we had to stay for twenty-foui hours repair- 
ing damages and taking in coal. Mr. Thompson and hi* 
party took leave of us, and on Tuesday, the 9th, a little before 
noon, we took our final departure. The sea was still high. 
Our course being now south, and the wind being N. W., we set 
canvas to check the rolling, and away we went. Our speed 

o 2 



16 OCZAHA 

was good considering our expenditure of coal. The Cunardefl 
cross the Atlantic in seven days, burning each day 300 tons 
ind doing 18 knots an hoar. We made from 12 to 13 knots, 
and burned only 35. On Wednesday we were outside the 
Bay of Biscay, far to the westward of our course, as traced on 
i flat chart ; but the captain tells us that we should see it to 
V>e right on a spherical one, and we entirely believed him. In 
sill healthy work that is done as it should be, we live and move 
hy faith. Had the passengers been required to give their 
independent opinions, they would have voted that we were 
going wrong and must change our direction, especially if they 
suspected that the captain and officers were interested in the 
matter. They were not asked for their opinions, and did not 
wish to give them. They were contented, being ignorant, to 
he guided by those whom they suppose to know ; this is the 
universal rule, and when it is observed, our sums work out 
clear, without fractional remainders. Times were when it 
held in all departments of human things when the supposed 
wise taught us what to believe, and the supposed opurrot 
taught us what we were to do, and we kept in temperate 
latitudes in politics and theology. In these two singular 
sciences everyone now makes his own creed, and gives his 
vote by his own lights as to how he wishes to be governed. 
\Ve could not help it, and we had but a choice of evils. There 
is no success possible to any man save in finding and obeying 
those who are his real superiors. But to follow mock supe- 
riors, and to be cheated in the process ! who could wish that 
we should submit to that ? If captains and officers were 
discovered to have never learnt their business, to be doing 
nothing but amuse themselves and consume the ship's stores, 
the crew would have to depose them and do the best they 
could with their own understandings ; but if the crew were 
persons of sense, they would probably look out at their best 
speed for other officers, and trust to their own lights for as 
*'iort a time as possible. 

Anyway we were well assured that Captain 8 would 

< -firry us along his great circles while ship and engines held 
I Aether, and that we should arrive infallibly at the port to 



SEA STUDIES i 

which we were bound. Without anxiety on this score we 
could settle down to our own occupations. The only question 
was what these occupations were to be, when we had no 
duties provided for us save to eat and sleep. What did 
passengers do on long voyages when there were no novels 1 
They must bless the man that invented them, for at present 
they are the only resource. The ship's bookshelves hold them 
by dozens. They stream out of private portmanteaus yellow 
shilling editions, with heroes and heroines painted on the 
covers in desperate situations. The appetite for such things 
at sea is voracious. Most of them will not bear reading more 
than once ; we consume them as we smoke cigars ; and on 
second perusal they are but ashes. One only wishes that they 
introduced one to better company. Villanous men and doubt- 
ful ladies are persons whom one avoids in life ; and though 
they are less objectionable in a book than in actual flesh and 
blood, their society is not attractive anywhere. At least, 
however, there was an abundance to choose from ; each of us 
could have a new novel every day, and there was no need to 
fall back upon the ashes. But besides these I had a few 
volumes of pocket classics which I always take with me in 
distant expeditions. Greek and Latin literature is wine 
which does not spoil by time. Such of it, in fact, as would 
spoil has been allowed to die, and only the best has been pre- 
served. In the absence of outward distractions one can under- 
atard and enjoy these finished relics of the old world. They 
shine as fixed stars in the intellectual firmament stars which 
never set. My first experience, however, was an unfortunate 
one. There are stars and stars. I had not looked into Ovid 
since I was a boy. He had survived, and had therefore merited 
survival. I had decided to use the opportunity and to read 
him through again. I tried and I failed. Ovid, like Horace, 
claims at the close of his ' Metamorphoses ' to have built a 
monument which will be coeval with mankind ; he lives yet, 
and can have lived only by excellence of some kind ; but I 
found him wearisome and effeminate, an atheistical epicurean 
with neither Horace's humour nor Lucretius's grandeur to 
make up for his objectionable creed ; very pretty, very un- 



92 OCEANA 

manly, a fashionable Roman man of letters, popular in society, 
and miserable when the unfeeling Augustus condemned him 
for a time to salutary solitude. Still people read him, read 
even the least decent of his writings. It was curious to find 
in the worst of these the lines which are so often quoted in 
books of theology : 

E.st Dens in nobis, aunt et commercia cceli j 
Sedibos etcrnia spiritua ille venit. 

Ovid's Deus, if he had any, may have sipped nectar with 
the rest at the Olympian tables, but could not have been a 
respectable form of divinity. I flung my Ovid behind my 
sofa pillow ; even in the novels I was in better company than 
with him. There were other things to do besides reading. As 
we flew south the air grew more balmy and the sea more smooth. 
The emigrants got over their sickness, and spread themselves 
about the deck in the sun. The captain was busy among them, 
chattering and making jokes. Emigrants, he told me, were 
generally discontented. One very handsome dame had fastened 
upon him, her tongue running like a shuttle in a cotton mill 
He was obliged to be careful, he said, for the ship was under 
the Board of Trade, where complaints were always listened to, 
reasonable or unreasonable. But he was exceptionally popular. 
His art was to keep the women in good humour, and to leave 
the men to take their chance. I saw him going from group to 
group, distributing sugar-plums among the children, cramming 
lozenges into a fresh-looking young mother's mouth whose 
hands were full of babies. A coil of thick rope had been left 
lying on the main hatchway ; a pretty group had fitted into it 
as in a nest, and were knitting and stitching. Boys and girls 
from infancy to ten years old were scrambling about ; happy, 
and happier than they knew, for they were escaping out of 
their suburban dirt, and going to a land where the sun could 
shine and the flowers blow ; where the sky at night was 
spangled with stars, and the air was unloaded with fetid 
smoke. No more for them the ragged yard and the broken 
window, and its scanty geranium-pots pathetic efforts of the 
poor souls to surround themselves with objects not wholly 
hjdeops. These few elect at least were bring snatched away 



AN IRISHMAN^ EXPERIENCE 33 

from an existence in which not to be at all, was better than 
to be. 

Sitting apart from the crowd, and apparently with no one 
belonging to him, I saw an Irishman in the unmistakeable 
national costume, the coat -seams gaping, the trousers in holes 
at the knees, the battered hat, the humorous glimmering in 
the eyes. I made acquaintance with him, gave him a pipe and 
some tobacco, for he had lost his own, and tempted him to 
talk. He was on his way to Brisbane. His wife and children 
had been left behind at Gravesend. The officer of the Board 
of Health had found measles among them. They were to 
follow by another vessel. He was to go on meanwhile, and 
make out some kind of home for them. I asked him why he 
was leaving Ireland just at this time when better days were 
coming. ' The divil is in the country,' he said, ' there is no 
living in it any way. There are good laws now. There is 
nothing to say against the laws ; but, do what you will with 
them, no one is any the better.' I inquired what specially 
had gone wrong with himself. ' Well, your honour,' he said, 
I had a little farm at Kinsale, and there was the boats and 
the nets; and, with the fishing and the rest, I contrived to get 
a living some way. But the Manx men came down, and with 
their long nets they caught all the large herrings and only left 
us the little ones. And then there was the bit of land,' he 
paused a moment and went on, ' Thim banks was the ruin 
of me. I had rather had to do with the worst landlord that 
ever was in Ireland than with thiiu banks. There is no mercy 
in them. They'll have the skin from off your back.' Poor 
fellow! No sooner had he got his ' fixity of tenure ' than he had 
borrowed money on the security of it, and ' thirn banks ' would 
have their pound of flesh. I was very sorry for him ; but 
how could it be otherwise 1 How many hundreds of thousands 
of his countrymen will travel the same road ! 

In less than a week from Plymouth we were out of sound- 
ings, looking round us and down into nothing but the violet- 
coloured ocean, Homer's toeiSe'a irovrov violet-coloured where 
most transparent, or lightening into turquoise when particlea 
of matter are floating thickly in it. A light north-east wind 



M OCEAN A 

followed us, forming the beginning of the trades. The air on 
deck was still, the speed of wind and vessel l>oing equal. The 
sun blazed hot by day. The nights were warm, and one could 
sit on deck till midnight watching the stars pursuing their 
stately march from east to west, and shining with the calm 
lustre of the lower latitudes. I suppose it is owing to our 
colder climate that we know the stars so much less accurately 
than the Greeks and Romans knew them, or the Egyptians 
and Babylonians. The sky to the Latin farmer was a dial- 
plate, on which the stars were pointers ; and he read the hour 
of the night from their position on its face. The constellations 
were his monthly almanack, and as the sun moved from one 
into another he learned when to plough and when to sow, 
when to prune his vines, and clip the wool from his sheep. 
The planets watched over the birth of his children. The star 
of the morning, rising as the herald of Aurora, called him to 
the work of the day. The star of the evening, glimmering 
pale through the expiring tints of sunset, sent him home to 
supper and to rest, and to his ignorant mind these glorious 
sons of heaven were gods, or the abode of gods. It is all 
changed now. The Pleiades and Orion and Sirius still pass 
nightly over our heads in splendid procession, but they are to 
us no more than bodies in space, important only for purposes 
of science ; we have fixed their longitudes, we can gauge in 
the spectroscope their chemical composition, we have found a 
parallax for the Dog-star, and know in how many years the 
light which flows from it will reach us. But the shepherd and 
the husbandman no longer look to them to measure their times 
and seasons, trusting to clocks and to printed authorities, and 
losing, in the negligence of their celestial guide, as much as, or 
more than, they have gained. The visible divinities who were 
once so near to our daily lives are gone for ever. 

Even Virgil was signing after a knowledge of the material 
causes of things. He, if he had felt the strength in himself, 
would have sung, like Lucretius, of earthquakes and eclipses, 
of the moon's phases and the lengthening and shortening of the 
days of all the secrets, so far as they were then pentrated, 
of the processes of nature. He complains of the weakness flf 



VIRGIL S 

his intellect, which could not soar amidst these august inysteriei 
He abandons the vast inquiry with a sorrowful sense of in- 
feriority. He says: 

Sin has ne possim nature accedere partea 
Frigidus obstiterit circum praecordia minguis, 
Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius. 

Could he have foreseen the blank vacancy in which science 
was to land us, he would have been better contented with what 
the gods had bestowed upon him. But even in Virgil's time 
the Olympians were growing mythic ; sincere belief in them 
was no longer possible, and nothing in which he could believe 
had as yet risen above the horizon. By the side of spiritual 
negations, democracy, their inevitable comrade, had rushed in 
upon his country. He was consoled to feel that this monster 
of anarchy at least had been grappled with by Caesar, and lay 

chained and powerless. 

Furor impius intus 

Sseva sedcns super arma et centum vinctus ahenis 
Post tergum nodis fremet horridus ore cruento. 

Civil order at least was upheld, though it was order main- 
tained by the sword ; and in that compelled interval of calm, 
religion passed from nature into conscience and struck root 
there. Spiritual belief revived again in Christianity, and 
renewed the face of the earth, and kept science at bay for 
another era of eighteen hundred years. It seems now that 
this era too is closed ; Science has come back upon us, and 
Democracy along with her. What next ? 

Yet, while change is all around us, there is so much that 
never changes : those stars on which we were gazing from the 
deck of the ' Australasian,' those seas through which we were 
rushing, age after age had looked on them and seen them as 
we saw them. How many mariners, each once at the front of 
the world's history, had sailed over those same waters I 
Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Norsemen, Cru- 
Baders, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, French, English, all in 
their turn. To each of these it had seemed once to" belong, 
and they steered their courses by the same stars which are 
now shining on ourselves. Knights and warriors, pirates and 



16 OCEANA 

traders, great admirals, discoverers of new continents, of 
whose names history is full Columbus and Santa Cruz, 
Drake and Grenville, Rodney and Nelson had passed where 
we were passing, between the Azores and the Canaries ; all 
burning with fires of hope and purpose which have long since 
sunk to ashes. 'Their eyes, like mine, saw Draco winding 
among the stars of the Bear, and the Bear making his daily 
circuit round the pole, alone of the Northern constellations 
unwetted in the ocean bath very strange to think of. The 
history of old nations and peoples comes down to us in ruined 
temples, in parchments, venerable from age, in fading portraits, 
in models of antiquated war-ships, to be smiled at in modern 
museums. The generations of man are but the hours of a 
season a little longer than a single year. The memory of them 
is trampled in by the million feet of their successors, them- 
selves in turn to be trampled in as swiftly and cared for no 
more. But the stars which we see are the stars which they saw. 
Time has not dimmed their brilliance, or age made them loiter on 
their course. Time for them is not. They are themselves the 
measures and creators of time. Have they too their appointed 
end t ' They shall perish, but thou shalt endure. They all 
shall wax old, as doth a garment. As a vesture shalt thou 
change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the 
same, and thy years shall not fail.' Is this true I No answer 
peals to us out of the abysses of space. No evidence can bo 
alleged to satisfy a British jury. The answer, if it comes at 
all, must come from the heart of men ; and who put it there, 
and how can a man's heart know t In the silent solitude of 
ft and sky the unanswerable questions thrust themselves 
upon one unasked. What is it all 1 What am 1 1 What is 
anything 1 Schopenhauer tells me that nothing is of which 
no idea has been formed by some conscious being, and there- 
fore that nothing existed until some conscious being came into 
existence capable of forming an idea of it All that we know 
of ourselves, or of things outside ourselves, being conception! 
or images impressed either on mind or on sensation, where there 
is no mind or no sensation there can be no conceptions and 
therefore no existence, and things now perceived will similarly 



REALS AND IDEALS VJ 

cease to be when conscious beings cease. In other words the 
material universe is created and sustained by spirit, and with- 
out spirit is nothing. 

Parallel to this is Kaixt's question, one over which I have 
many times puzzled myself to sleep when opiates failed : 
whether Da seyn is a predicate, whether to have had a being 
subject to space and time is a necessary condition of existence. 
Has not a character which has acquired a place in the minds 
of mankind as real an existence, even though a creature of 
imagination merely, as if the person in question had been born 
with a material body and had lived a fixed number of years, 
and had worn clothes and taken his regular meals, and in 
course of time had died ? Ulysses, Hamlet, Julius Caesar are 
real persons. Each of them stands with a clear and fixed 
form before the minds of all of us. Would Ulysses and 
Hamlet be more than they are to us if some Greek king 
having that name had once actually lived and reigned in 
Ithaca, and Hamlet been a real prince who thought he saw a 
ghost and killed his uncle ? Would Julius Caesar be any less 
to us if we had simply the story of him and his actions as an 
accepted part of human tradition ? They and he alike are the 
offspring of the creative intellectual spirit. They have been 
actually created or they would not be among us. Does the 
mere fact that they were subject once for a few years to the 
conditions of time and matter add anything to the truth of 
the conception of them which we have in our minds ? It is 
no verbal speculation, for important consequences hang upon 
it, for in this way Kant establishes the truth of the Christian 
religion. Nay, in this way only he considers that the truth of 
it can be established with absolute certainty. Historical facts 
can never be demonstrated with a completeness of proof which 
can leave no room for doubt. A religion which takes posses- 
sion of the convictions of mankind carries with it its own 
evidence, in its conformity with universal spiritual expe- 
rience ; and the truth of it lying within the four corners of 
the conception, is above and beyond the power of historical 
criticism. The historical truth is a question of space and time 
which does not touch on eternal verities. The properties of 9 



a OCEANA 

circle lie in the definition, and are truths of reason whether hi 
nature any perfect circle exists or does not exist. The 
spiritual truth of a doctrine or a mythology lies in the recog- 
nition which the mind gives to it, as conforming to and rep re 
aeiiting universal experience. It is a convenient theory, con- 
venient for many purposes. No church council has yet 
sanctioned it, but it must have been present unconsciously in 
the mind of Cardinal Newman when he wrote his ' Grammar 
of Assent.' It was present in the ages of faith, when the 
miracles of the saints were told as freely as in a novel, with a 
belief which looked only to edification. It is implied in the 
assertion that belief per se is a virtue, and that doubt is a sin. 

Yet, after all, facts are something. My Uncle Toby con- 
cluded, in spite of all the arguments of the learned lawyers, 
that the Duchess of Suffolk must have been some relation to 
her own child. J ulius Caesar, as an historical person, is more 
to me than he would have been had he existed nowhere save 
in Shakespeare's play. The stars had a being before Adam or 
Adam's children began to speculate on their movements, and 
will be after Adam's race has ceased to perplex itself with 
metaphysical conundrums. 

To return to the voyage. On Sunday, the 14th, five days 
out from Plymouth, we passed Teneriffe. They had called us 
up at daybreak for the first sight of the islands, which rose 
stern and grand out of the sea in the misty morning air. We 
had coal enough and were not obliged to stop ; so we swept 
slowly round the Bay of Santa Cruz. I know not whether 
the famous Marquis, the greatest of the Spanish admirals, took 
his title from this place or no. The Peak was white with 
snow, though on deck the tar was melting in the sun. The 
bay and town were disappointing when I thought of the great 
fights which it had witnessed. Between these headlands 
Drake met the first of his defeats on his last and fatal voyage, 
the story of which is told exultingly in Lope de Vega's ' Dragon- 
tea.' Lope had been in the Armada in 1588, and his faith in 
Providence had been tried by the good fortune of the heretic 
English, and especially of El Draqw, the pirate, the dragon of 
the Apocalypse, who had so long roved the seas with impunity, 



SUNDAY AT SEA 49 

plundered the Spanish gold-ships, burnt the fleet in Cadiz, 
and had shattered and hunted through the English Channel 
the avenging squadrons of Medina Sidonia. Strange that the 
wicked one should so long have prospered ; but the hand of 
God fell upon him at last, and here, in the bay, the first 
stroke had reached him. There was nothing but the mere 
locality, nothing to throw light either on the misfortune of El 
Draque, or on the great victory of Blake afterwards on the 
same spot. Santa Cruz is a mere collection of Spanish houses 
and churches, spread loosely on the hillside, the dark lines 
and spots being avenues and clumps of oranges and olives. 
The Great Island is green but bare, and unpicturesquely 
covered with ugly plants which are grown for the cochineal 
insect. From the sea it is less beautiful by far than Madeira, 
though less repulsive than the arid rocks of St. Vincent and 
the rest of the Cape de Verd group. Close inspection might 
have improved our impression ; and had we landed I should 
have heard again the pleasant sound of the Castilian tongue. 
But it could not be. The captain had his own and his ship's 
credit to maintain by a quick passage. 

Being Sunday we had service on deck after we left the 
bay. The captain read prayers at a table covered in the usual 
way with the Union Jack. He was a Presbyterian, and new 
to this part of his business, so he missed his way in the 
Liturgy and we had to help him. It was very pretty, how- 
ever : the officers in full uniform, the emigrants in their best 
clothes, joining, all of them, some with full, rich voices, in the 
hymns which have grown among us in such profusion in the 
last forty years, and have become household songs to the 
English race all over the world. Otherwise the day was as 
tedious as we everywhere make it. St. Aldegonde in ' Lothair ' 
exclaims, ' How I hate Sundays ! ' We mean to be reverent, 
and we try to force the feelings by forbidding irreverent 
amusements, while at the same time we provide nothing to 
help the mind to serious thoughts when service is over, except 
books, generally themselves tedious, and especially so when 
they try to be spiritually entertaining. The most stringent 
rules cannot bind the thoughts, cannot give a tone to conversa- 



*> OCEANA 

tion. People, as a fact, think as usual and talk as usual, but 
they must not act as usual. They do not work, because it is 
a holy day ; yet chess, for instance, is not work, and we are 
forbidden to play chess. St. Aldegonde's impatience was not 
entirely because his habits were artificially interfered with. 
He disliked the inconsistency and the unreality perhaps a 
great deal more. If Sunday books were the best in the world, 
all eyes cannot read after sunset, especially in imperfectly- 
lighted ships. Why may I not play chess ? I must not set a 
bad example ; but is it wrong ? and, if not wrong, why is the 
example bad ? I have heard some people say that they go to 
church for example. They do not need outward observances 
for themselves ; they are not like the poor publican, and can 
do without such things ; but church is good for the publican, 
and it gives them pleasure to encourage him. Such pleasure 
as this belongs to the mala mentis gaudia, the evil pleasures 
of the soul, which, Virgil says, lie in the vestibule of Orcus, 

The engines, at any rate, do not observe Sunday, not being 
human. We run punctually our 300 miles a day. When we 
have left TenerifTe under the horizon we reach the north curt 
trade. The wind barely overtakes the ship. The sun streams 
hotter upon the deck. The water rises to 80 degrees ; but the 
air is pure and sweet. An awning is spread over the deck, 
where I lie by day and read about the pious -<Eneas. At night 
we watch Arcturus and the Bear sinking lower and lower, and 
to the south new constellations appearing above the horizon. 
The black care which clings behind the horseman cannot reach 
the ocean. We smoke, we dream, we read, we play quoits on 
deck. Our star-gazing, as we are without accurate knowledge, 
costs us no intellectual effort, and we pick up, without diffi- 
culty, fragments of nautical science in the captain's chart- room. 
We stand at his side when he makes it twelve o'clock at noon 
and notes clown the exact point which we have reached. A 
friend of mine who was to cross the Atlantic in the old sailing- 
ship days had studied his route on a map formed of the two 
flat circles representing Che two halves of the globe. They 
touched only at a single point, and he was afraid that the cap- 
tain might 'iiiss it and carry him off into space. Our course 



APPROACH TO THE CAPE 31 

lay happily upon a single hemisphere, so that we had no 
anxiety. On December 20 we crossed the line, leaving mid- 
winter behind us and entering into midsummer. The weather 
continued beautiful. The ship slid on upon an even keel. 
Our windows were open day and night, for there was not a 
wave to threaten our port-holes. On Midsummer Night the 
emigrants got up an entertainment. They sang glees ; they sang 
solos. One poor fellow tried a dance, but the only fiddle broke 
down, and dancing without music is not beautiful. ' The best 
in this kind are but as shadows, and the worst are no worse if 
imagination mend them.' 

I finished the c ./Eneid.' It is a beautiful piece of work- 
manship, but I can understand why Virgil himself wished it 
burnt. He did not believe in his story of ^neas. All that 
part of it is conscious invention, and the gods are intolerable 
Lucian himself never equalled the conversation between Jupiter 
and Juno, where Jupiter calls her his ' sweetest wife,' and she 
him the ' beautifullest of husbands.' The pious ./Eneas him- 
self, too, save on the one occasion on which he forgot himself, 
is immaculate as Tennyson's Arthur, and very like him not a 
genuine man, but an artificial model of a highly respectable 
man. 

As we approached the Cape I became more and more 
anxious to know in what condition I should find it. The 
Government at home had taken a new point of departure in 
sending Sir Charles Warren into Bechuanaland. To myself it 
appeared to be one more step in the same direction which com- 
menced with our taking the Diamond Fields from the Dutch 
in 1871, and has led us into such a labyrinth of trouble. For 
twenty years before that achievement there had been compara- 
tive peace in South Africa. In 1852 we had discovered that 
wars with the natives and wars with the Dutch were expensive 
and useless ; that sending troops out and killing thousands of 
natives was an odd way of protecting them. We resolved then 
to keep within our own territories, to meddle no more beyond 
the Orange River, and to leave the Dutch and the natives to 
ettle .their differences among themselves. If we had kept to 
that policy, a good many thousand people now dead would be 



p OCEANA 

alive. A good many millions of money now spent would be 
in the pockets of the taxpayers, and the South Africans, white 
and black alike, would have been a great deal happier and 
more prosperous. We had set the treaty aside, however ; we 
had been seizing territory and then abandoning it, and fighting 
and killing and getting bad defeats, and we were now going 
into a fresh ad venture, in my eyes equally unpromising. The 
peace to which we consented after the victory of the Dutch 
at Majuba Hill was an act of high magnanimity. Our ac- 
quiescence had been misinterpreted, and some step might be 
necessary to show that we intended, notwithstanding, to assert 
our authority in South Africa ; but in what we were now 
doing we were running the risk of plunging the whole country 
into civil war : and success would leave the essential problem 
as far from settlement as ever. 

Having, as I said, been at one time connected with Cape 
affairs, and having some knowledge of the inner bearings of 
them, before I describe our arrival there, I will give a brief 
account of the colony, how we came by it, and how we have 
conducted ourselves in the management of it. 



CHAPTER III. 

The Cape Colony The Dutch settlement Transfer to England Abolition of 
lavery Injustice to the Dutch Emigration of the Boers Efforts at re- 
conquo.st The Orange River treaty Broken by England The war Treaty 
of Aliwal North Discovery of diamonds Treaty again broken British 
policy at Kimberley Personal tour in South Africa Lord Carnarvon pro- 
poses a Conference Compensation paid to the Orange Free State Annexa- 
tion of the Transvaal War with the Dutch Peace Fresh difficulties 
Expedition of Sir Charles Warren. 

THK CAPB COLONY, as we ought to know, but in practice we 
always forget, was originally a Dutch colony. Two centuries 
ago, when the Hollanders were the second maritime power in 
the world perhaps not even second they occupied and 
ettled the southern extremity of Africa. They easily con- 
quered the Hottentots and Bushmen, acting as we ourselves 



THE DUTCH AT THE CAPE 33 

ilso acted invariably in similar circumstances. They cleared 
out the wild beasts, built towns, laid out roads, enclosed and 
ploughed the land, planted forests and vineyards. Better 
colonists or more successful did not exist than the Dutch, 
They throve and prospered, and continued to thrive and 
prosper till the close of the last century. If we compare the 
success of the Dutch in the management of uncivilised tribes 
with our own, in all parts of the world, it will be found that, 
although their rule is stricter than ours, and to appearance 
harsher, they have had fewer native wars than we have had. 
There has been less violence and bloodshed, and the natives 
living under them have not been less happy or less industrious. 
Holland in the Revolutionary war was seized by the French 
Directory. The English, at the request of the Prince of 
Orange, took the Cape under their protection It was on the 
high road to India ; there was then no alternative route by 
the Suez Canal ; and so important a station could not be per 
mitted to fall into the hands of Napoleon. At the peace of 
Amiens it was restored to Holland, and the English garrisor 
was withdrawn. On the war breaking out again, our occupa 
tion was renewed ; a fleet was sent out, with a strong invading 
force. The Cape Dutch resisted fought a gallant action, in 
which they were largely helped by native allies ; they yielded 
only in the belief that, as before, the occupation would be 
temporary, and that their country would be finally given back 
to them when the struggle was over. It was not given back. 
At the Congress of Vienna, they found themselves transferred 
permanently to the English dominion without their own con- 
sent being either obtained or asked for. They had made the 
country what it was, had set up their houses there, had done 
no one any harm, and had been in possession for seven genera- 
tions. They were treated as adscript* glebce, as part of the 
goil. They resented it ; the hotter spirits resisted ; they were 
called rebels, and were shot and hanged in the usual fashiou. 
If we had been wise, we should have made allowance for the 
circumstances under which the Cape had come into our hands ; 
we should have tried to reconcile the Dutch to an alien rule, 
by exceptional consideration. We did make an exception, 

D 



34 OCEANA 

but not in their favour. We justified our conquest to our- 
elves by taking away the character of the conquered, and we 
constituted ourselves the champion of the coloured races 
against them, as if they were oppressors and robbers. After 
the peace, slave emancipation was the question of the day. 
They were slave- owners, but so were we ; we had been sinners 
alike. We repented, and voted over twenty millions to clear 
ourselves of the reproach. We expected that the Dutch 
should recognise as instantaneously as ourselves the wicked- 
ness of the institution ; and because they are a deliberate and 
slow people, not given to enthusiasm for new ideas, they fell 
into disgrace with us, where they have ever since remained. 
Slavery at the Cape had been rather domestic than predial ; 
the scandals of the West India plantations were unknown 
among them. The slaves were part of their families, and had 
always been treated with care and kindness. They submitted 
to the emancipation because they could not help themselves ; 
but when the compensation came to be distributed, the terms 
offered them were so much less favourable than had been 
allowed to the planters at Jamaica and Barbadoes, were so 
unequal in themselves and were embarrassed with so many 
technical conditions, that many of the Dutch farmers refused 
to accept them. They dismissed their slaves freely, and to 
this day have never applied for the moderate sums which they 
might with difficulty have obtained. 

It was not enough to abolish slavery. The enthusiasm of 
the hour could not tolerate the shadow of it. The Hottentots 
were then numerous in the colony ; with the emancipated 
slaves, they formed a large population ; they had been placed 
under vagrancy laws like those which prevailed in England 
up to the reforming era of the present century ; like the 
' sturdy and valiant beggars ' of our statute-book, they were 
forbidden to wander about the country, but were forced to 
remain in one place and work for their living. Tin -> laws 
were repealed. The Hottentots were allowed to go where 
they pleased ; they scattered through the bush, they took to 
drink and thieving, and became a general nuisance to the 
Dutch farmers ; for as yet there were few English settlor! 



THE BOERS O* THE NORTH j s 

outside the towns, and our own position was purely that o< 
military conquerors. Had the Dutch and the Hottentots 
been left to themselves, the latter, most of whom came to a 
bad end, would probably now be surviving, and in a fair way 
to leading useful lives. Drink and idleness carried them off; 
but because the Dutch objected to these measures, they were 
regarded in England as slave-owners at heart, as barbarians 
and tyrants, as illiterate savages, as the real cause of all that 
had gone wrong. The unfavourable impression of them became 
a tradition of the English press, and unfortunately of the 
Colonial Office. We had treated them unfairly as well as 
unwisely, and we never forgive those whom we have injured. 

The Cape Dutchman, or Boer, as we call him, is a slow, 
good-humoured person, not given to politics, occupied much 
with his religion and his private affairs, and if let alone, with 
some allowance for his habits and opinions, would have long 
since forgotten his independence, would have acquiesced in 
the inevitable, and become the most conservative and least 
revolutionary of the Queen's subjects. And the Colonial 
Office, if free to act by its own judgment, would, for its own 
Bake, long ago have followed a conciliatory policy. But 
colonial secretaries have to consider their party in Parliament, 
and members in Parliament have to consider their constituents 
and public opinion. Slave emancipation was the special glory 
of the English people, and there was no safer road to public 
favour than to treat those who were unsound on this greatest 
of questions as beyond the pale of consideration. The Boers 
had, or imagined that they had, a list of grievances, large and 
small, as long as an Irishman's, and sufferers of wrong have 
longer memories than the inflictors of wrong. Impatient of a 
yoke which calumny made intolerable, a swarm of them, many 
thousands strong, took wing in 1835 and 1836, packed their 
goods into their waggons, gathered their flocks and herds about 
them, and struck off for the unknown wilderness to the north 
of the Orange River. The migration left the home ties un- 
broken. Each family in the colony sent one or more of its 
young ones. The history of these emigrants repeats our own 
history wherever we have settled, and must be the history of 

D a 



36 OCEANA 

all settlers in new countries which are inhabited already by an 
inferior race. Before they went they established communica- 
tions with various tribes, who agreed to receive them. They 
were welcome to some, they were unwelcome to others. Dis- 
putes arose about land and stolen cattle. There were collisions, 
and massacres called treacherous, avenged by wars and fresh 
acquisitions of territory, till they became possessors of all the 
country now known as the Orange Free State, the Transvaal, 
and Natal. In England it was represented that they were 
carrying fire and sword among the innocent natives. Abori- 
gines of other breeds might suffer ; we were sorry, but we 
could sit still. But there was something in the ill-treatment 
of a negro which fired the English blood. We decided that 
the Boers could not escape their allegiance by going out of the 
colony. We pursued them, drove them out of Natal, invaded 
the Orange Free State, fought battles with imperfect results, 
got into quarrels with the natives ourselves, notably with the 
Basuto Moshesh, who taught us that these roving expeditions 
were unprofitable and might be dangerous. Grown sick at 
last of enterprises which led neither to honour nor peace, we 
resolved, in 1852, to leave Boers, Caffres, Basutos, and Zulus 
to themselves, and make the Orange River the boundary of 
British responsibilities. We made formal treaties with the 
two Dutch states, binding ourselves to interfere no more 
between them and the natives, and to leave them, either to 
establish themselves as a barrier between ourselves and the 
interior of Africa, or to sink, as was considered most likely, 
in an unequal struggle with warlike tribes by whom they were 
infinitely outnumbered. They, on their side, undertook not 
to re-establish slavery ; and so we left them. 

With an exception, which I shall notice presently, these 
treaties were observed for seventeen years, and ' the land had 
rest ' from its misfortunes. Our own Border troubles ceased. 
The colony was quiet and had no history. The new states 
did not sink but prospered. The Boers spread over a territory 
as large as France. They arranged their disputes with the 
natives with little fighting. In the Transvaal a million 
natives lived peaceably in the midst of them, working 



THE BOERS OF THE NORTH 37 

them and for them. By far the most thriving native location 
which I myself saw in South Africa was close to Pretoria. 
They were rough, but they had rude virtues, which are not 
the less virtues because in these latter days they are growing 
scarce. They are a very devout people, maintaining their 
churches and ministers with excessive liberality. Their houses 
being so far apart, they cannot send their children to school, 
and generally have tutors for them at home. Religious obser- 
vances are attended to scrupulously in their households. The 
Boers of South Africa, of all human beings now on this planet, 
correspond nearest to Horace's description of the Roman 
peasant soldiers who defeated Pyrrhus and Hannibal. There 
alone you will find obedience to parents as strict as among 
the ancient Sabines, the severa mater whose sons fetch and 
carry at her bidding, who, when those sons go to fight for 
their country, will hand their rifles to them and bid them 
return with their arms in their hands or else not ^eturn 
at all. 

They rule after their own pattern. They forbid idleness 
and indiscriminate vagrancy. They persuade, and when they 
can, compel the blacks to cultivate the ground and be in- 
dustrious. They give them no votes for the Volksraad. 
They do not allow them even to own the freehold of land, 
except under white trustees, lest they should reintroduce 
their old tribal tenures and confound the law. But, on the 
whole, the management has not been unsuccessful. There 
have been no risings of blacks against whites in the Transvaal. 
Authority has been sustained, without panics and without 
severity. Such scenes as the destruction of Langalabalele's 
tribe in Natal, or the massacre at Koegas, which disgraced 
the Cape Colony in 1878, have never been paralleled in the 
Dutch independent states. They could not, however, earn 
the confidence of the English Government. Perhaps their 
unexpected success was an offence. Their methods were not 
our methods, and were easily misrepresented. Stories were 
told untrue generally, but not wholly without foundation 
of Boers, on the borders of the Transvaal, kidnapping native 
children, or purchasing them of plundering tribes, and bringing 



38 OCEANA 

them np as slaves under the disguise of apprentices. The 
Transvaal Government severely and successfully repressed 
these proceedings. I say successfully because, in the yean 
daring which the Transvaal was again a British province, 
cases of the kind would have been brought to light had any 
then existed, and not a single child was discovered in the 
condition described. Yet these practices were reported to 
England as ascertained facts, and were honestly believed. 
The Boers were held to have broken their engagement, and 
many excellent people among us insisted that we were neglect- 
ing our duty in leaving them uncontrolled. 

They were left, however, materially undisturbed. The 
English Government was in no haste to meddle again. Cape 
politics had been so disagreeable a subject that persons in 
authority at the Colonial Office dismissed them from their 
minds. They hoped that the Dutch difficulties were disposed 
of altogether; and so little acquainted were they with the 
character and distribution of the Cape population, that Lord 
Cardwell, who had been himself Colonial Minister, believed, 
as late as 1875, that all the Dutch in South Africa had 
migrated to the Free States, and that the Colony was entirely 
English. He told me so himself, and was taken entirely by 
surprise when I informed him that the Dutch were still the 
majority, and a very large majority, in the Colony itself. Nor 
were they only the majority, but they were doing all the 
work which was really valuable. The English were merchants, 
shopkeepers, artisans; they made railways, managed ostrich 
farms, dug diamonds and copper, and drove ox-waggons. 
The Boers almost alone were cultivating the soil, and but for 
them all the white inhabitant! of South Africa would be 
living on foreign flour, tinned milk, and imported potatoes. 

Peace was doing its work. The two races were drawing 
together, and, if the treaties of 1852 had not been broken, 
South Africa would have by this time been reunited, and the 
Dutch farmers would have been loyal subjects of the Crown. 
I think everyone who knows South Africa will agree with me 
in this opinion. The Boer is a born Conservative, <ind the 
Free States, if let well alone, would have naturally rejoined 



THE BOERS OF THE NORTH 39 

Iheir kindred. Unhappily the feeling in England continued 
to be irritated against them by reports not entirely honest. 
The friends of the coloured races were on the watch, and an 
occasion rose which enabled them to force a renewal of inter- 
ference. On abandoning the Orange Free State, we bequeathed 
as a legacy an unsettled border dispute with the Basutos. We 
were tired of fighting with them ourselves, and we left the 
President and Volksraad at Bloemfontein to arrange the dif- 
ferences as they could. They could not arrange them peace- 
fully. In 1865 a war broke out between the Orange Free 
State and the sons of Moshesh. It lasted four years, and was 
then ending because the Basutos could resist no longer, when 
they threw themselves on British protection, and, in spite of 
our solemn engagements, we interfered with a high hand. It 
seldom answers to break treaties, even with the best intentions. 
The Basuto territory was north of the Orange River, and we 
were doing what we had distinctly bound ourselves not to do. 
I suppose that neither we nor South Africa generally have 
reason to be gratified with our action on that occasion. The 
common interest of all of us would have been better served 
had we stood by our engagements, and left the Dutch to deal 
with the Basutos as they could. But the true state of things 
was not known in England. The Boers had a bad name 
with us. To protect innocent natives from oppression was 
a popular cry, and the British Government yielded to the 
general wish. It was, however, so far a single act ; the non- 
intervention policy was still to be maintained as a whole. To 
satisfy the Orange Free State we undertook to guarantee that 
the Basutos should keep the peace for the future, and the treaty 
of 1852 was renewed at Aliwal North in 1869, with fresh 
assurances that the breach of it should not be made a pre- 
cedent for further interpositions. The Dutch of the colony 
resented what we had done, and there remained a soreness of 
feeling ; but they considered that a new engagement, freshly 
entered into, would not be again violated. 

Perhaps it would not have been violated had no new 
temptation come in our way. But South Africa, like other 
countries, is torn by factions. There was a party there who 



*> OCEANA 

bore the Free States uO good-will, and a step which had been 
once taken might be more easily taken a second time. The 
ink on the treaty of Aliwal North was scarcely dry when dia- 
monds were discovered in large quantities in a district which 
we had ourselves treated as part of the Orange Territory be- 
fore our first withdrawal, and which had ever since been ad- 
ministered by Orange Free State magistrates. There was a 
rush of diggers from all parts of the country. There was a 
genuine fear that the Boers would be unable to control the 
flock of vultures which was gathering over so rich a prey. 
There was a notion also that the finest diamond mine in the 
world ought not to be lost to the British Empire. It was dis- 
covered that the country in which it lay was not part of the 
Free State at all, and that it belonged to aGriqua chief named 
Waterboer. This chief in past times had been an ally of the 
English. The Boers were accused of having robbed him. He 
appealed for help, and in an ill hour we lent ourselves to an 
aggression for which there was no excuse. Lord Kimberley 
gave his name to the new settlement. The Dutch were ex- 
pelled. They did not resist, but they yielded under protest to 
superior force, and from that day no Boer in South Africa has 
been able to trust to English promises. The manner in which 
we acted, or allowed our representatives to act, was insolent 
in its cynicism. We had gone in as the champions of the 
oppressed Waterboer. We gave Waterboer and his Griquas a 
tenth of the territory. We kept the rest and all that was 
valuable for ourselves. What could the Dutch have done 
worse t We have accused them of breaking their engagements 
with us, and it was we who taught them the lesson. A treaty 
but a few months old was staring us in the face. Even if 
Waterboer's title had been as good as his friends pretended, 
we had pledged ourselves to meddle no more in such matters, 
in language as plain as words could make it. Our conduct 
would have been less entirely intolerable if we had rested 
simply on superior strength if we had told the Boers simply 
that we must have the Diamond Fields and intended to take 
them ; but we poisoned the wound, and we justified our action, 
by posing before the world as the protectors of the rights of 



THE DIAMOND FIELDS 4 

native tribes, whom we accused them of having wronged, and 
we maintained this attitude through the controversy which 
afterwards arose. 

I had myself to make inquiries subsequently into the 
details of this transaction, perhaps the most discreditable in 
the annals of English Colonial History. There were person* 
ready, if necessary, to depose in a <*mrt of justice how Water- 
6oer's case had been got up. It was proved afterwards in a 
Land Court held at Kimberley, before Mr. Justice Stocken- 
strom, that the Griqua chief had never possessed any rights 
in the Territory at all. But all such inquiries are superfluous. 
The Treaty of Aliwal is our all-sufficient condemnation. This 
one action has been the cause of all the troubles which have 
since befallen South Africa. The Dutch are slow to move, but 
when moved are moved effectually. We selected this par- 
ticular moment to pass the Cape Colony over to its own 
Parliament to manage, and we meant the Diamond Fields to 
be a present to it on attaining its majority. The Colonial 
Office could have given no better proof of its own unfitness to 
govern there than in its last performance, and in that sense 
perhaps the time was well chosen. There was a general elec- 
tion at the Cape on the occasion of the new constitution. The 
Dutch electors determined to support the protest of the 
Orange Free State, and the new members made it at once clear 
that if the Imperial Government chose to violate treaties it 
must take the consequences. Instead of accepting gratefully 
Lord Kimberley's gift, they refused to touch it. They would 
have nothing to do with the Diamond Fields until the Orange 
Free State declared itself satisfied with our occupation ; and 
we were left with. a province in the interior of Africa with no 
communication with it, except through the Free States which 
we had robbed, or the Cape Colony which we had alienated 
and which was no longer our own. The mining population 
who had assembled there was miscellaneous, dangerous, and 
ungovernable. The frontier between the province and the two 
Free States was unsettled, and apparently incapable of settle- 
ment, since our right to be there was not admitted by the 
Government at Bloemfontein. 



4* OCEANA 

One saving feature there was in the situation : the daring 
and able man whom we had selected to govern our precioui 
new possession. He had no British troops to support him, 
nor did he ask for any. Tearing to pieces the shreds of the 
now useless treaties, he entered into relations with all the 
native chiefs on the borders of the two republics, inviting 
them to become British subjects, and promising to protect 
them from the Dutch. They sent gangs of their people to 
work in the diamond pits. The wages of these people were 
laid out in powder and arms, with which we had promised not 
to furnish the natives. Tens of thousands of guns and rifles 
were distributed in two or three years among the surrounding 
tribes as a direct menace to the Dutch, who had now a semi- 
circle of armed men drawn outside them from Kimberley to 
Zululand. Naturally there was the greatest alarm and the 
greatest indignation among them. They were threatened with 
invasions and inroads of savages set on and countenanced by 
the British Government. They were poor in money, and with 
difficulty were able to provide means to defend themselves. 
The object was of course to bring them upon their knees, force 
them to withdraw their protest, and acknowledge the sovereign 
rights of Great Britain. The waggons bringing the rifles up 
to Kimberley passed through the Dutch territory. The Free 
State magistrates stopped them as illegal, which they were. 
To supply the natives with arms was against the law. Re- 
paration was instantly demanded. Commissioners were sent 
from Kimberley to Bloemfontein to require compensation and 
an apology, and forty-eight hours alone were allowed for an 
answer. The President was ill at the time and unable to take 
part in business. His council paid the money, but paid it 
under protest, with an old-fashioned appeal to the God of 
righteousness, whom, strange to say, they believed to be a 
reality. 

Another ultimatum had been sent to the Transvaal Govern- 
ment. The Transvaal being far off was less submissive, and a 
state of tension was set up which could only have ended in * 
war of races. The native tribes would have been let loose 
upon the Dutch farmers. Every Dutchman in South Africa 



43 

who could carry a rifle would have gone to the help of his 
kindred, so justly, so deeply indignant were they. We had 
been sowing dragon's teeth at the Diamond Fields, and the old 
harvest was springing from them. 

Such was the state of things when, in 1874, I travelled 
through Natal, the Free States, the Diamond Fields, and the 
North of the Colony. At Kimberley I inquired privately into 
the history of Waterboer's claims. The evidence was violently 
conflicting : but persons who were behind the scenes were 
ready to come forward and prove that ' the annexation had 
been a swindle and a trick.' It was impossible for me, as a 
stranger, to tell who were lying and who were speaking the 
truth. But the breach of treaty was indisputable ; and T 
could not reconcile myself to the calm statement of one gentle- 
man high in authority, that as we had broken the treaty in the 
case of the Basutos we might break it again. If Waterboer'a 
pretensions were as clear as they were doubtful, our action had 
been extravagantly impolitic. It could be no object to us, 
even for so precious a possession as a pit of diamonds, to hold 
a province in the far interior which our own Cape Colony re- 
pudiated, and our occupation of which was creating such a 
temper in the Dutch population all over South Africa. At 
Cape Town I had a conversation about it with the Premier, 
Mr. Molteno. He told me that he was as sorry as I could be ; 
that he had himself opposed the annexation, that he regretted 
the course which the Imperial Government had pursued and 
was pursuing, but that Griqualand was beyond the colonial 
frontier. It was not his business, and he could not interfere. 

On my return to England I laid my experiences before 
Lord Carnarvon, who was then Colonial Secretary. Lord 
Carnarvon was not satisfied that the annexation had been 
unjust, but of course he paid great attention to the opinion 
of the Cape Premier. The Colonial Office had undervalued 
the Dutch as a fighting power, and had thought that the 
irritation would be limited to words. Nor had it allowed 
for the feeling created in the Colony : a war with the Free 
States, should it come to that, would be dangerous as well 
as disgraceful, and would lead certainly to complications 



44 OCEAN A 

with the newly established Constitutional Government. Lord 
Carnarvon resolved to make an effort for a peaceful settle- 
ment. It was not easy for the office to acknowledge that it 
had done wrong ; nor had proof yet been produced that 
wrong had been done. If a treaty had been broken, there 
were perhaps exceptional reasons for breaking it. But the 
impolicy of alienating and exasperating the majority of the 
constituents of a colony which had just been trusted with 
self-government was obvious. It had been represented to 
me at the Cape that a conference of representatives from the 
various states interested could easily find a solution. Lord 
Carnarvon considered that the simplest solution would be a 
confederation of all the South African, Dutch, and English 
communities into a confederation like the Canadian Dominion, 
in which minor differences would be merged. I did not think 
myself that the Dutch, in their existing humour, would listen 
to this proposal. It was the easiest road, however, for the 
retreat of the Colonial Office. Lord Carnarvon sent out 
despatch inviting a conference to consider various questions, 
the position of the Diamond Fields among them, suggesting 
confederation, but not pressing it. A fortnight after the de- 
spatch went I followed, with instructions that when the 
conference met, the dispute with the Free States was to be 
considered and disposed of before anything else was dis- 
cussed. I had myself written along with the despatch a 
private letter to Mr. Molteno, under the impression that he 
would welcome Lord C.'s proposal as a means of carrying out 
his own expressed wishes. Since the original appropriation 
of South Africa no minister had shown so much concern for 
the Dutch inhabitants as Lord Carnarvon now was showing, 
and I never doubted for a moment that Mr. Molteno would 
meet his intentions with the cordiality which they deserved. 

I do not know the secret history of what followed. There 
were persons, I suppose, who were interested in keeping open 
the quarrel between the Free States and the Imperial Govern- 
ment who wished the Free States to be brought upon their 
knees with the assistance of native allies. The despatch was 
laid before the Cape Parliament with commentaries, which, if 



PROPOSED CONFERENCE 45 

<he object was to embitter every difference, had the merit of 
ingenuity. It was represented as an insidious attempt to 
entangle the colony in responsibilities which it had repudiated 
as a treacherous scheme to bring the Free States back under 
the English flag as an interference with the colony's private 
affairs, which it was necessary to check on the spot. The 
proposed conference was hurriedly, and even insultingly, re- 
jected. The absurd misrepresentation cf Lord Carnarvon's 
objects was spread over the country by the press ; and when I 
arrived, I found a universal ferment, and the Dutch more 
furious than ever. 

I applied for an explanation to [the Premier, and I re- 
minded him of what he had said to me. To my surprise, he 
went back from his own words. He said now, that we might 
do as we liked with the Free States. He had no objection. 
I told him that I must at least explain Lord Carnarvon's 
intentions. The Governor had suggested that I might address 
a letter of explanation to him which he could lay before Par- 
liament. But Mr. Molteno positively refused to allow the 
matter to come before the Parliament again. I took his 
refusal to mean that no explanation was to be given, and that 
my own lips were to be closed. The position seemed unfair 
to me, and the injury from the lies that were put in circula- 
tion to be more than serious. If I was silent I should seem 
to admit their justice. The Dutch, at least, ought to know 
what Lord Carnarvon had meant, and as the question was 
between the Free States and the Imperial Government, I 
could not recognise that I should violate any constitutional 
principle in telling the truth. In doubtful cases truth is 
generally the safest policy. I attended a dinner in Cape 
Town and said a few words. The result was a revulsion of 
feeling among the friends of the Free States, much abuse of 
myself in ministerial newspapers, an agitation which spread 
over the Colony, and finally a recall of the Parliament, which 
had been prorogued in the interval, when the Colony agreed 
to assist the Imperial Government in bringing the quarrel to 
an end. This was all that I wanted. There could be no war 
after the Colony had become a party to the dispute, and 



46 OCEANA 

* settlement agreeable to the Dutch colonial constituencies 
could not be unsatisfactory beyond the Orange River. I went 
home. Mr. Brand, the President of the Orange Free State, 
came to London shortly after. It was admitted in general 
terms at the Colonial Office that he had not been treated 
fairly about the Diamond Fields, and a sum of 90,0001. was 
allowed him as compensation. The money was nothing : the 
acknowledgment of wrong was everything. The Dutch of 
South Africa, though obstinate as mules, are emotional and 
affected easily through their feelings. It seemed to them that 
their evil days were over, that an English Government could 
be just after all, and that a United Africa might still be 
possible under the English flag. 

If Lord Carnarvon, having accomplished one piece of good 
work, had been contented to let well alone : had he made 
as fair an arrangement with the Transvaal as he had made 
with the Orange Free State ; still more, had he lent her a 
hand in her native difficulties, there would have again been 
at least a chance of the confederation which he desired. We 
owed something to the Dutch of the Transvaal. Bechuanas, 
Matabelies, Amaswazis, Zulus, all had received either arms 
or encouragement from the Diamond Fields to annoy them. 
A little help in money to the Transvaal, a few kind words, 
the concession of a fair western frontier, and an intimation 
to the border tribes that we and the Dutch were henceforth 
friends, and that an injury to them would be taken as an 
injury to the British Crown, and every Dutchman in South 
Africa would have torn the leaves out of his book of griev- 
ances and have forgotten them for ever. But Lord Carnarvon 
mistook the nature of the warm feeling which he had aroused. 
He supposed it to be in favour of his confederation scheme, 
with which it had nothing directly to do ; he felt that to bring 
about a South African Dominion would be understood and 
admired in England as a brilliant and useful political achieve- 
ment. The Transvaal appeared the key of the situation. 
With the Transvaal an English province again, the 'Orange 
Free State would be compelled to follow. He had recovered 
in some degree the Dutch confidence. It was a plant of tender 



ANNEXATION OF THE TRANSVAAL 47 

growth, but he believed that it would now bear pressure. The 
life of English ministries is short. If they are to achieve any- 
thing they must act promptly, or they may leave the chance 
fco their successors. The Transvaal treasury was empty, and 
an occupation of the country would at the moment be unre- 
sisted. He was assured by the South African English at 
least by many of them that the Transvaal farmers were sick 
of their independence, and would welcome annexation. He 
could count on the support of both parties in Parliament. 
Mr. Courtney, I believe, was the only English member of the 
Legislature who protested. I myself was certain that to take 
over (as it was called) the Transvaal would undo the effect of 
his past action, and would bring back the old bitterness. I 
gave him my opinion, but I could not expect that he would 
believe me when so many persons who must know the country 
better than I could do insisted upon the opposite. The step 
was taken. The 'South African Republic,' so proud of its 
independence that it had struck a coinage of its own, was 
declared British territory. ' Confederation,' which had been 
made absolutely impossible, was next to follow, and Sir Bartle 
Frere was sent to the Cape as governor, to carry it out. How 
he fared is fresh in our memories. His task was from the first 
hopeless. Yet he could not or would not understand it to be 
hopeless. He was not even told the truth. It was said that 
the native tribes were too strong ; that if South Africa were 
confederated they would have to deal with the Caffres, Basutos, 
Zulus, <fec., single-handed, and that they were not equal to it. 
If this was the difficulty Sir Bartle could sweep it away. 
Hitherto we had at least affected a wish to protect the coloured 
races. Now all was changed. He found an excuse in a paltry 
border dispute for a new Caffre war. He carried fire and 
sword over the Kei, dismissing his ministers, and appointing 
others who were more willing to go along with him in his 
dangerous course. He broke up the Zulus after a resistance 
which won for them more credit than the ultimate conquest 
brought honour to ourselves. South Africa was wet with 
blood, and all these crimes and follies had been committed for 
* shadow which was no nearer than before. The Zulus had 



<8 OCEANA 

been enemies of the Boers, but their destruction had not t*> 
conciled the Boers to the loss of their liberty. They demanded 
back their independence in dogged, determined tones. Sir 
Garnet Wolseley's campaign against Secocoeni, who had once 
defeated them, made no difference. The Liberal party in 
England began to declare in their favour. They learnt at last 
that the Liberal leader had condemned the annexation as 
idopted under false pretences ; and when the Liberals came 
into power in 1880 they counted with certainty that their 
complaints would be attended to. We could at that time have 
withdrawn with dignity, and the Boers would have perceived 
again that when we were convinced of a mistake we were will- 
ing to repair it. But I suppose (and this is the essential diffi- 
culty in our Colonial relations), that the Government knew 
what it would be right to do, but were afraid to do it in fear 
of an adverse vote in the Parliament to which they were re- 
sponsible ; and party interests at home were too important to 
be sacrificed to the welfare of remote communities. It was 
decided that before the complaints of the Transvaal Boers 
could be heard they must first acknowledge the Queen's autho- 
rity. They had taken arms for their freedom, and did not 
choose to lay them down, when the rulers of England had 
themselves admitted that they were in the right. Then fol- 
lowed the war which we all remember, where a series of 
disasters culminated on Majuba Hill and the death of Sir 
George Colley. 

I, for one, cannot blame the Government for declining to 
prosecute further a bloody struggle in a cause which they had 
already condemned. I blame them rather for having entered 
upon it at all. To concede after defeat what might have been 
conceded gracefully when our defeat was on both sides thought 
impossible, was not without a nobleness of its own ; but it 
was to diminish infallibly the influence of England in South 
Africa, and to elate and encourage the growing party whose 
hope was and is to see it vanish .altogether. Had we persisted, 
superior strength and resources must have succeeded in the 
end. But the war would have passed beyond the limits of the 
Transvaal It must have been war of conquest against the 



PEACE 49 

whole Dutch population, who would all have taken part in it. 
We should have brought a scandal on our name. We should 
and must have brought to the verge of destruction a brave 
and honourable people. We should have provoked the censure 
we might, perhaps, have even provoked the interposition 
of other Powers. For these reasons I think that Mr. Glad- 
stone did well in consenting to a peace, although it was a peace 
which affected painfully the position and feelings of the English 
South African colonists, and could not fail to leave a dan- 
gerous sting behind it. The peace was right. It was a pity 
only that, as a balm to our wounded pride, we insisted on 
stipulations which could not or would not be observed, while 
we had left ourselves no means of enforcing them. Some con- 
cession, I suppose, was necessary to irritated pride at home, 
but the conditions which we inserted in the treaty were a 
legacy from our earlier errors, and that they came to be men- 
tioned at all was a pure calamity. Having swallowed the 
draught, we might as well have swallowed it completely, with- 
out leaving drops in the bottom of the cup. I The origin of all 
the anger in the Transvaal had been the arming the native 
chiefs against them from the Diamond Fields. These chiefs 
had remained our allies in the war. We could not, or thought 
we could not, leave them without taking security for them and 
their territories. I think it would have been better, though it 
might have seemed unhandsome, to have fallen back on the 
principle which had worked so well while it lasted, of the 
Orange River Treaty, and had resolved to meddle no more in 
the disputes between the Boers and these tribes. Had we 
maintained our authority we could have maintained the tribes 
by our side ; but to abandon the country, and to insist at the 
same time that the inhabitants of it should not fall into their 
natural relations, was to reserve artificially a certain cause of 
future troubles. The chiefs whom we called our friends had 
been drawn into an attitude of open menace against the Boers. 
The Boers were not to be blamed if they preferred to form 
settlements of their own in those territories, that they might 
not be exposed again to the same danger. 

However, they agreed to oar terms, and they did not 



5 OCEAN A 

observe them. We had broken the treaty of Aliwal North 
They broke the later treaty, or rather their Government did 
not prevent individuals among them from breaking it. We 
took note of their faults ; we forgot our own. A clamour 
rose against the Boers' perfidy. The missionaries, who have 
never loved them the English in the colony, who were smart- 
ing from a sense of humiliation the army, sore at an un- 
avenged defeat politicians, jealous for the honour of their 
country philanthropists, whose mission in life is the cham- 
pionship of innocent negroes, all joined in the cry ; while ' her 
Majesty's Opposition ' was on the watch to take advantage of 
any opening which the Government might give them. The 
Cabinet was called on to send out an expedition to expel the 
Boers by force from our allies' territories, and they dared not 
refuse. Yet what was the expedition to do ? The Knight of 
La Mancha delivered the hid from his master's whip, made the 
master swear to pay the wages which the boy claimed, and 
rode on his way, rejoicing at the wrong which he had redressed* 
When he was out of sight, the master again bound the lad to 
the tree and flogged him worse than before. When we had 
driven the Boers out of Bechuanaland, were we to stay there 1 
to maintain an army there f If yes, who was to pay for it 1 
If not, the tide would flow in again when we retired. Between 
an evil to be remedied and the cost of the remedy, there must 
always be some proportion. The best to be looked for was that 
we should send our troops up, at an expense of, perhaps, a million 
of money to the taxpayers, that they should find no enemy, 
that the troops should remain till we were tired of paying for 
them, and then go back with a confession of impotence. To 
raise a revenue in such a country would be impossible. To 
establish an authority there which could be self-maintaining 
would be equally impossible. And what were we to do with 
a province, productive of nothing but an opportunity of spend- 
ing money indefinitely, of which we could make no use, and to 
which we could have no access except through Cape Colony, 
while the Cape Colony would do nothing to make our presence 
there more easy to us I The Cabinet might hope that when 
Bechuanalaud was cleared of Boers, the Cape Colony would 



SIX CHARLES WARREN'S EXPEDITION 51 

take charge of it. The Cape Colony, it was certain to those 
who understood the question, would do nothing of the kind. 
If we chose to take Bechuanaland, we should have to keep it 
till we were tired, ajid then to go away like fools. This was 
the best which we could look for. The worst was a renewal 
of the war which would turn to a war of races between the 
Dutch and English in South Africa. The slightest impru- 
dence, or the mere refusal of the Boers to retire without being 
forced, might bring it on. And the consequence would be 
incalculable. The danger was the greater, because many of 
those who were the most active in promoting the expedition 
hoped eagerly that war would be the issue of it. They were 
longing to wipe off the stain of Majuba Hill, and to raise the 
English flag at Pretoria again. 

The prospect was so alarming that to prevent the expedition 
from being despatched, the present Cape Premier, Mr. Uping- 
ton, went himself in the autumn to the frontier, and made some 
kind of arrangement with the Transvaal Government an 
arrangement satisfactory to the majority of the whites in the 
colony. As we have chosen to establish constitutional govern- 
ment there, the views of the majority ought to be accepted. 
If we wish South Africa to be governed not according to the 
views of the majority, we must govern it ourselves. The 
English Cabinet rejected Mr. Upington's agreement as too 
favourable to the Dutch. The preparations were continued ; 
8,000*men were sent out, under the command of Sir Char-lea 
Warren, to proceed to Bechuanaland. The Cape Government 
was invited to co-operate. / The Cape Government declined 
respectfully, and we were thus again launching into an enter- 
prise inconsistent with the constitutional principles on which 
we had determined that South Africa should be governed 
South Africa can only be ruled constitutionally by conciliating 
the Dutch people there, and we had persisted from the begin- 
ning, and were still persisting, in affronting them and irritating 
them. I conceive that Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet, if ieft to 
their own judgment, would have declined this adventure. But 
the step was taken. The last detachment had sailed before 
I left England, and the prospect seemed to me to be as 

2 



$i OCEANA 

unpromising as our worst enemy could wish. The Boers might 
have no right to the farms which they were occupying ; but 
was the expulsion of them worth the consequences which it 
might involve t The territory in dispute was an almost water- 
less wilderness. A week's cost of the delivering army would 
have sent the complaining chiefs away rejoicing. Some measure 
there must always be between an object to be gained, and 
the cost of gaining it. The object to be gained, so far as there 
was an object which had reality in it, was revenge for Majuba 
Hill. The cost might not improbably be the loss of the South 
African colonies. Public opinion in England would certainly 
not permit a war of extermination against the Cape Dutch, 
and the alternative might easily arise between a war of this 
description and the evacuation of the country. As little 
would it allow the suppression of the Cape constitution and a 
military government there. Yet what other government would 
be possible, if we persisted in a course of violent action which 
the Cape Parliament and Ministry disapproved f I could see 
no light at all. V The only prospect that had hope in it was 
that Sir Charles Warren would march up, and eventually 
march down again, having driven his plough through a morass 
which must close again behind it. If this was the issue it 
would be only ridiculous. But just now we could hardly afford 
to seem ridiculous. 

It is of course certain that if we choose, and if we act 
consistently with conscientious resolution, we can goverrfSouth 
Africa as we govern India ; we can have a native policy of 
our own, and distribute equal justice to white men and black 
under our own magistrates responsible only to English opinion. 
Under such a rule the country might be peaceable and fairly 
prosperous. It is equally certain that if South Africa is to 
rule itself under a constitutional system, we must cease to 
impose English views of what is expedient on a people un- 
willing to act upon them. We cannot force them at once to 
govern themselves and to govern in the way which we ourselves 
desire. You can take a hone to the water, but you cannot 
make him drink ; and attempts to combine contradictory 
methods will lead in the future, as they have led in the past, 



A DISAGREEABLE SURPRISE S3 

to confusion and failure. As an imperfect Deiiever in the 
value of popular suffrage, I incline myself to the first alter- 
native. But it must be one thing or the other. Inconsistency 
is worse than either. I was approaching the Cape with 
anxious curiosity to learn the prospects of our latest adventure. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Arrive at Cape Town A disagreeable surprise Interviewers State ol 
feeling Contradictory opinions Prospects of Sir Charles Warren's expe- 
dition Mr. Upington Sir Hercules Robinson English policy in South 
Africa. 

WE steamed into Table Bay at dawn on December 30. The 
air, though it was early, was sultry with the heat of mid- 
summer ; fishing-boats were gliding away to the offing before 
the light morning breeze. The town was still asleep in the 
shadow of the great mountain, over whose level crest a rosy 
mist was hanging. In all the world there is perhaps no city 
so beautifully situated as Cape Town ; the grey cliffs seem to 
overhang it like Poseidon's precipice which threatened the 
city of Alcinous ; from the base a forest of pines slope up- 
wards wherever trees can fasten their roots, and fills the 
entire valley to the margin of the houses. 

^ The docks had been enlarged and the breakwater carried 
far out since I had seen the place last. A few ships were at 
anchor in its shelter, otherwise there were no signs of growth 
or change. Business thrives indifferently in a troubled politi- 
cal atmosphere. We went in alongside the pier. One of the 
first persons who came on board thrust into my hands the 
1 Argus ' of the previous day. I opened it and was in conster- 
nation. A week or two before I left England, a gentleman 
whom I knew slightly and was inclined to like, had called on 
me and asked me a number of questions, which I had an- 
swered with the unreserve of private conversation. Among 
other things we had talked of the prospects of South Africa, 
and I had spoken freely, because I supposed myself to be 



<4 OCEANA 

peaking in confidence, of colonial factions and tempers out of 
which so much evil had arisen and might again arise. I had 
complained especially of the misleading information which had 
been supplied to the English Government, and of the unscrupu- 
lous character of part of the Cape press. To my horror, yet 
to my amusement also, I found the whole of the conversation 
in print (so far as my friend had remembered it), filling two 
columns of the newspaper, and a furious leader attached, hold- 
ing me up to indignation. Interviewers who are taking down 
one's words ought to give one notice. The system anyway 
is questionable, but when unacknowledged is intolerable. If 
you know what is before you, you can at least be careful what 
you say, and make sure also that your friend understands 
what you say, and so can report it correctly. 

Apology was hopeless, and explanation impossible. There 
was no time for it, for one thing ; and, for another, I believed 
what I had said to be true, and therefore could not unsay it, 
though it had never been meant for the public. 

The 'Argus' people, I suppose, had seen the report 
accidentally in a London paper, and having heard that I was 
coming, had prepared this pretty reception for me. It was a 
neat and characteristic stroke, which, provoked as I was, I 

could not refuse to admire. M. , the oldest friend I had 

in the Colony, came on board while I was reflecting. The 
whole town, he told me, was in a rage. But, after all, it 
mattered little, except to myself, and the three or four persons 
whom I wished to see would perhaps forgive me. The politi- 
cal situation was precisely what I expected. M. had 

accompanied the Premier to Bechuanaland when making the 
arrangement with the Boers which Lord Derby had declined to 
ratify. Had it been accepted the Premier would have been 
prepared to advise the Cape Parliament to annex the Bechuana 
territory to the Colony, and the party who wished for peace 
would have been all satisfied. But the English Government 
would not have it so. Sir Charles Warren had arrived and 
had gone to the front ; part of the troops had gone up with 
him, the rest were to follow as fast as possible. The Colony 
bad no more to say in the matter, and were waiting to see the 



OPINIONS OF POLITICIANS 55 

result. The English were in high spirits, they were looking 
confidently to another war in which the misfortune of Majuba 
Hill would be wiped out and their own position made more 
tolerable. Two thousand of them had volunteered to serve in 
this expedition. The Dutch as a party of course approved of 
the Premier's arrangement. The Dutch were the large majo- 
rity in the Parliament and out of it, and what was to become 
of constitutional government 1 It was true that the scene of 
Sir Charles's operations was outside the colonial frontier. But 
the Colony was the right arm of South Africa ; and how 
were England and the Colony to get on together, if we per- 
sisted in a policy which three-fifths of its white inhabitants 
detested ? 

After breakfast we went up the town and I paid my visits. 
As to my delinquencies, I could not deny them, so I let them 
take their chance. Time and change had made large gaps in 
my old circle of acquaintances. Paterson was drowned, Sir 
John Molteno had retired from public life, and was absent at 
a watering-place. The Harrys, Charles and Tom, were both 
gone ; De Villiers not the Chief Justice, but another was 
dead ; Saul Solomon, one of the best men I ever knew, I had 
left behind me in bad health in London ; but there were still 
a few remaining for whose judgment I had a high respect, of 
all shades of opinion. I called on one man of great eminence, 
unconnected politically with party, yet intensely colonial, and 
related personally both to Dutch and English, whom I found, 
to my surprise, not only approving of Sir Charles Warren's 
expedition, but professing to believe that if we meant to 
retain our position in South Africa we had no alternative. 
This gentleman said that after our surrender to the Transvaal, 
it had been taken for granted that we were weary of South 
Africa and had intended to retire altogether, The future had 
been a blank on which no one had dared to calculate. They 
were to be a republic. They were to be under the protection 
of Germany ; anything was possible. The English in the 
Colony had lost heart ; some were preparing to leave the 
country ; others, who could not leave, were making terms 
with the winning party. He for one, whose home was at the 



J6 OCEANA 

Cape, had been depressed and disheartened. South Africa, he 
ma convinced, could not stand alone, and could never be so free 
under any other sovereignty as it had been under the English 
Crown. Till within the last few weeks, and till the resolution 
of the English Government was known, he had looked at the 
prospect with dismay. All was now changed. The Cape 
English knew that they were not to be deserted. The Dutch 
the sensible part of them would acquiesce when they saw 
that we were in earnest. I asked him what would happen if 
there was fighting. He said he hoped that there would be no 
fighting, though he could not be sure. His reason for think- 
ing so appeared to me a weak one. The troops, he said, were 
to go as police, not as soldiers. The sight of a red jacket 
affected Boers as it affected bulls. They were to wear cordu- 
roys and not their uniform. Perhaps there was more in the 
distinction than I was able to understand. He did not con- 
ceal, however, that he thought that the English, both Govern- 
ment and individuals, had behaved extremely ill in South 
Africa. They had brought their troubles on themselves ; and 
he trusted that they would have learnt their lesson, and 
would do better for the future. They had despised the Boers 
had not treated them with ordinary honesty, and in illus- 
tration he told me of a recent incident which he knew to be 
true. An Englishman had called at a Boer's farm in the 
Orange Free State, pretending to be starving. The Boer took 
him into his service out of charity, and sent him to Kimberley 
in charge of two waggon-loads of timber. The man sold the 
wood, went off * ith the money, and left waggon and bullocks, 
not daring to dispose of these, to find their own way home. 
This discreditable story was only too representative. The 
Boers had been so systematically abused and misrepresented 
that the English scarcely regarded them as human beings to 
whom they owed any moral consideration. It made a deeper 
impression upon me than the approval of Sir Charles Warren's 
mission, although it was something to find that a wise and 
temperate man who knew the circumstances thoroughly, and 
had no prejudice, could express such an opinion. Events may 
prove that he was right, little as I could believe it then, little 



MR. UP ING TON 57 

as I believe it now. I fear that the English have not learnt 
their lesson. The 2,000 volunteers may be useful if there is to 
be a war of conquest, and if the minority are to rule the 
majority. Otherwise I cannot see that their coming forward 
has improved the prospect. If we could think more of the 
wrong things which we have done ourselves, and less of the 
wrong things which we accuse the Boers of having done, 
I believe that would be considerably more effective. 

I do not know whether I should have ventured to call on 
the Premier. Ten years ago Mr. Upington had just arrived 
at the Colony, to practise at the bar. I had occasionally met 
him, with his brilliant and beautiful wife, and had liked what 
I had seen of both of them ; but I had no acquaintance which 
would have entitled me to intrude upon him in his present 
position. I was told, however, that he wished to see me, so I 
went to the office. How many things had changed since I was 
last there, and how much was not changed ! The players were 
altered ; the play was the same : the old problems, and the 
old suspicions and rivalries. The ten years had greatly im- 
proved Mr. Upington's appearance. He was still young-looking, 
with a light active figure, black hair and moustache, black eyes 
with a genial lively expression, a well-set mouth with courage 
and decision in the lines of it a man who knew what he 
thought right, and was not to be frightened out of his purpose. 
To me he was frank and cordial ; he had not much time to 
give me, and I had less ; so he spoke at once and freely on 
the situation. He had been opposed, he said, to Sir Charles 
Warren's expedition, because it could not fail to widen the 
existing breach between the English and the Dutch ; and he 
regretted that his proposals for Bechuanaland had not been 
accepted. He said, and with evident sincerity, that the Dutch 
as a body did not desire to break the connection with Great 

Britain. He repeated what had said, that they could 

not be independent, and that Germany, if they fell under 
German influence, would not leave them as much political 
liberty as they were allowed by England. It was in loyalty, 
therefore, and not in disloyalty, that he deprecated our present 
action. We could not hope to retain oar influence in South 



$8 OCEANA 

Africa under constitutional forms, if we persisted in disregard- 
ing Dutch feeling, and an armed interference in opposition to 
their avowed wishes was irritating and extremely dangerous. 
He himself and the Presidents of the two Republics would do 
their best to prevent a collision. They might not succeed. 
Tempers on both sides were excited and inflammable. The 
whole country was like a loaded magazine which an accidental 
spark might kindle, and all South Africa would then be in a 
blaze. But he trusted that the Boers would see that there 
was no need of fighting. They had only to sit still. In that 
case Sir Charles Warren would take possession of the disputed 
territory without opposition. Plausible grounds might be 
found for expelling nineteen or twenty Boer families who had 
settled there. These would retire into the Transvaal, and 
Sir Charles would then, if he pleased, fix the boundaries of 
such part of Bechuanaland as he chose to occupy, and declare 
it a Crown colony. A Crown colony it would have to be. 
The Cape Parliament would decline to have anything to do 
with a province so acquired except on their own conditions. 
If we took it we must keep it and must govern it ourselves, 
since no material existed out of which a local government 
could be formed. The soil was too barren to invite colonisa- 
tion ; the natives too poor and wretched to yield the smallest 
revenue. A small garrison would be useless and would invite 
attack ; we should therefore have to maintain a large one. 
On those terms we could stay as long as we liked, but he pre- 
sumed that the English taxpayer would tire in a few years of 
BO expensive an acquisition. 

This was common sense, so obvious that the promoters of 
the expedition could not have been blind to it. Their desire 
was probably to promote a general war, provoke the Dutch 
into striking the first blow, and force England to put out its 
strength to crush them. 1 cannot believe that English 
ministers had any such intention ; they had yielded to clamour 
&nd done the least which they could be allowed to do ; but 
none the less they have entered a road which must either end 
in impotence or in the suppression of the constitution which, 
vhen it suited us, we forced South Africa to ac j 



SIR HERCULES ROBINSON 59 

The history of Ireland is repeating itself as if Ireland 
ras not enough. Spasmodic violence alternating with im- 
patient dropping of the reins ; first severity and then indul- 
gence, and then severity again ; with no persisting in any one 
system a process which drives nations mad as it drives 
children, yet is inevitable in every dependency belonging to 
us which is not entirely servile, so long as it lies at the will 
and mercy of so uncertain a body as the British Parliament. 

Of all persons connected with South African administra- 
tion, the most to be pitied is Sir Hercules Robinson, the 
Governor, and I think he knows it and pities himself. He 
has been accused in England of having imperfectly supported 
Sir Charles Warren. When I was at Cape Town he was sup- 
posed to belong to the extreme war party, and to wish to see 
the question of Dutch or English supremacy fought out once 
for all in the field. Poor Sir Hercules ! he is too upright a 
man to belong to any party, and therefore all in turn abuse 
him. He is simply an honourable English gentleman, en- 
deavouring to do his duty in a position of divided responsi- 
bilities. He is the constitutional Governor of the Colony, 
and he is High Commissioner. As Governor of the Colony 
he has to be guided by his ministers, who are responsible to 
the Cape Parliament. As High Commissioner he has an un- 
'defined authority all over South Africa, extending even to the 
independent states, as protector of the native tribes. But, 
like the Amphictyonic Council, he has a voice only, without a 
force of any kind to carry his orders into effect ; and for his 
conduct in this capacity he is responsible to his employers at 
home, to the English press, and to every dissatisfied member 
of the House of Commons who chooses to call him to account. 
As High Commissioner he has charge of the interests which 
Sir Charles Warren was sent to protect, yet Warren's com- 
mand was made independent of him. If he pleased his re- 
sponsible advisers, he would be rebuked by opinion at home 
If he threw himself into the quarrel on the English side, he 
would strain his relations with the Cape Parliament. If 
Warren's arrival had restored hia consequence as British 
representative, it had aggravated the tendon between him- 



60 OCEANA 

elf and his ministry. He could if he pleased dismiss Mr. 
Upington, dissolve the legislature, and appeal to the colony ; 
but the effect could only be a larger majority, which would 
bring Mr. Upington back, and make his situation more diffi- 
cult than ever. He explained his embarrassments most 
candidly when I called upon him. He said that they would 
perhaps be less if those who had the real power had the re- 
sponsibility along with it. But the Dutch leaders held per- 
sonally aloof, being content to dictate the policy which the 
ministers were to follow, without choosing to come personally 
into contact with himself. I left him with the most sincere 
compassion. No English colonial governor had ever been in a 
more cruel position, and perhaps none has ever acted with 
more prudence. I augured well from the stoic endurance 
which was written in his face. Good perhaps he would be 
unable to do, but at least he would not lend himself to evil. 

I met afterwards one of those ' Dutch leaders ' to whom he 
had referred a cool, determined gentleman, with faultless 
temper and manners, who knew what he meant himself to do 
if no one else knew. The Dutch can abide their time and 
wait the issue of our blunders. President Kruger (President 
of the Transvaal) said to me in London, that every step which 
the English had taken in South Africa during the last twelve 
years had been what he would have himself recommended if 
he had wished the connection with England to be terminated, 
with the single exception of the admission of wrong which 
Lord Carnarvon had made to the Orange Free State, and the 
compensation which he had granted for the Diamond Fields. 
The effect of that concession had been to keep the Free State 
back when the Transvaal was fighting for its independence ; 
everything else had been what the most advanced Africander 

could have desired. I mentioned this to Mr. H , the 

gentleman of whom I am speaking. He smiled ominously, as 
if he was himself of the same opinion. There was no likeli- 
hood of the exception being repeated. 

I concluded from all that I heard that we have now but 
one hold left upon the South African Dutch, and that is theii 
fear of the Germans. The efforts of their chiefs to prevent 



THE SEA ONCE MORE 61 

the peace from being broken have been successful. The Boers 
in Bechuanaland have retired from before Sir Charles Warren, 
who is in possession of his vast province, and is now asking 
what is to be done with it. The Cape Parliament has refused 
to annex it except on its own conditions, as the Premier said 
that it would refuse. No blood has been spilt, and no excuse 
has been given for a march upon Pretoria. The war party 
have not perhaps altogether abandoned hope. There is now 
* cry to drive the Boers out of Zululand, and this they will 
probably resist. If it comes to a war they will perhaps ask 
for German protection before they submit, and in some form or 
other they may perhaps obtain it. But they prize their indivi- 
dual freedom, and for this reason, if for no other, they will seek 
German aid only at the last extremity. If English Governments, 
if the English Parliament and press, will try to make the best 
of the Boers instead of the worst, if they can make up their 
minds to leave the Cape alone, as they leave Australia and 
Canada, the unfortunate country may breathe again ; and 
with their fine soil and climate and wealth of minerals and 
jewels, English, Dutch, Basutos, Caffres, and Zulus may bury 
the hatchet, and live and prosper side by side. Our inter- 
ferences have been dictated by the highest motives ; but ex- 
perience has told us, and ought to have taught us, that in 
what we have done, or tried to do, we have aggravated every 
evil which we most desired to prevent. We have conciliated 
neither person nor party. Native chiefs may profess to wish 
for our alliance, but they have not forgotten the Zulu war or 
the fate of Waterboer. We cannot afford to be permanently 
disinterested, and when they too turn round upon us, as they 
always have and always will, we shall have brought it to a 
point where white and coloured men alike of all races and 
all complexions will combine to ask us to take ourselves away. 
This is the truth about South Africa. I, for my part, 
ghall see it no more, and this book contains the last words 
which I shall ever write about it. The anchor is up in the 
' Australasian. 1 the whistle screams, the bell rings to clear the 
ship of strangers ; we steam away in the summer twilight, the 
gray precipices of the mountain turning crimson in the glow 



fa OCEANA 

of the sunset. We have added to our list of passengers some 
thirty English and Scotch, who are flying from a land which, 
like Ireland, seems lying under a curse. We are bound 
now for brighter and happier regions, beyond the shadow of 
English party factions. So far, I had been in waters that I 
knew ; we were entering now into the Southern Ocean, on the 
Great Circle, and into high latitudes and polar cold. Australia 
lies due east of the Cape, but our course from Cape Agulhas 
is south. The nearest road would lie through the South Pole 
and the great barriers of ice. This way there is no passage ; 
we are to keep within ' the roaring forties ; ' but though it is 
midsummer, and the nights are but two hours long, we are 
warned to prepare for the temperature of an English winter. 
The thick clothes must come out of our boxes again ; the fire 
will be relighted in the saloon ; we may fall in with icebergs 
and see snow upon our decks ; and then in three weeks we 
shall be again in tropical sunshine amidst grapes and flowers. 



CHAPTER V. 

The Indian Ocean New Year's night at sea Extreme cold Ware and 
currents The albatross Passengers' amusements Modern voyages 
The Odyssey ' Spiritual truth Continued cold at midsummer. 

IF cold weather lay before us we had not yet reached it 
After a brilliant sunset the sky clouded, and wind came up 
from the west. The air was thick and close ; the sea ros* 
the ports were shut, and as the waves washed over the decX 
the skylights were battened down. I tried the deck myself, but 
was driven back by the wet. The saloon, when I went down 
again, smelt of dead rats or other horrors. I took shelter in 
the deck-house, and lay there on a bench till morning, snatch- 
ing such patches of sleep as were to be caught under such 
conditions. It continued wild all next day, but the tempera- 
ture cooled and brought back life and freshness. This was the 
last day of the year, and at midnight the crew rang in ita 
successor. All the bells in the ship were set swinging ; the 



NEW YEARNS NIGHT AT SEA 63 

cook's boys clanked the pots and pans ; the emigrants sang 
choral songs. The exact moment could not be hit. Time is 
1 made ' at midday, and remains fixed, so far as man can fix it, 
for four-and-twenty hours. In itself it varies, of course, with 
every second of longitude. 1885, however, had arrived for 
practical purposes. I slept when the noise was over as I had 
not slept for months, till late into the morning. 'Adsit 
omen,' I said to myself ; ' here is the new year. May I and 
those belonging to me pass through it without sin ! ' As a 
book for the occasion as a spiritual bath after the squalor 
of Cape politics, I read Pindar, the purest of all the Greek 
poets, of the same order with Phidias and Praxiteles, and as 
perfect an artist in words as they in marble. Hard he is, as 
the quartz rock in which the gold is embedded ; but when you 
can force your way into his meaning, it is like glowing fire. 
His delight is in the noble qualities which he can find in man, 
and of all the basenesses which disfigure man he hates $0ovos, 
' envy,' the worst : as admiration of excellence is the finest 
part of our nature, so envy and the desire to depreciate ex- 
cellence Pindar holds to be the meanest. Great souls, he says, 
dwell only with what is good, and do not stoop to quarrel with 
its opposite. The backbiting tongue waits upon illustrious 
actions, soiling what is bright and beautiful, and giving honour 
to the low. But he prays that his tongue may not be like 
any of these ; and he desires that when he dies he may leave 
his children a name unstained. He has no complainings or 
gloomy speculations. Life to him is a beautiful thing, to be 
enjoyed as in the presence of the gods who made it a whole- 
some doctrine, good to read in doubtful or desponding hours. 
1 If,' he says, ' a man has wealth and fortune and can add to 
these honour, let him be content and aspire to no more. Let 
him feast in peace and listen to the music of song. Let the 
voice rise beside the goblet ; let him mingle the cup, the sweet 
inspirer of hymns of praise, and pass round the child of the 
vine in bowls of silver twined with wreaths woven out of 
righteousness.' We, too, on board the ' Australasian,' had not 
been without our orgies and inspiring draughts. One of the 
emigrants at our New Year'g festival, a Mrs. , a Maenad 



V OCEANA 

with flashing eyes, and long, black, snaky hair, had plunged 
through the ship, whisky-bottle in hand, distributing drams. 
Her catches certainly were not hymns of praise; her bowl 
was not wreathed with righteousness ; and the dame herself, 
though in Corybantian frenzy, was redolent of Billingsgate. 

From Pindar to Mrs. was a long road in the progress of 

the species ; but she did what she could, poor woman, to cele- 
brate the occasion. 

Fellow-passengers in a ship soon become intimate. Meet- 
ing hour after hour in a small space, and sitting at the same 
table, they pass first into acquaintance and then into fami- 
liarity. They like to have some one to talk to, and communi- 
cate freely their adventures and their purposes. Among those 
who had joined us at the Cape, there was a gentleman who 
was really interesting to me. He had been thirteen years at 
the Diamond Fields, had witnessed all its distractions, had 
made some kind of fortune, and was now flying from South 
Africa as from a country past saving. He filled gaps in my 
own information with many details ; but they all set in one 
direction. He told me nothing which at all affected my already 
formed opinions. 

S When we had been three days out the weather rapidly 
cooled. The temperature of the water sank to within ten 
degrees of freezing. When we were in 45 south the lati- 
tude corresponding to Bordeaux we saw no actual ice, but 
ice could not hare been far from us. We shivered in the 
saloon in spite of the fire ; we piled blankets over ourselves at 
night, and took our walks on deck in our heaviest ulsters. 
From winter to the heat of a forcing house, from the tropics 
jack into winter, and then again into the tropics, are transi- 
tions but of a few days in these days of swift steamers, and 
are less trying than one might have expected. The Great 
Circle course from the Cape to Australia is adopted chiefly to 
shorten the distance, but it has another invaluable advantage 
to sailing vessels which are bound eastward j for between 
latitude 40 and the ice of the South Pole a steady draught 
of air from the west blows perennially all through the year 
and all round the globe. It may shift a point or two to north 



WAVES AND CURRENTS 6$ 

of west or south, hut west it always is, never sinking below 
what we call a stiff breeze, and rising often to a gale or half a 
gaJe, and constantly therefore there is a heavy sea, nearly a 
thousand miles broad, rolling round the earth from west to 
east. The waves were magnificent : I believe the highest ever 
fallen in with are in these latitudes. Vessels for Australia 
under sail alone accomplish often 300 miles a day on the 
course on which we were going. If they are bound west they 
keep within the tropics, which these winds do not reach. To 
steam in their teeth would be impossible, even for the most 
powerful ships afloat. It struck me that a series of enormous 
waves for ever moving in one direction over so large a part of 
the earth's surface might in some degree counteract the force 
which is supposed to be slowly stopping the rotation of our 
planetA The earth turning under the moon generates the 
tidal wave, which, as the earth's rotation is from west to east, 
moves itself from east to west. A certain resistance is thus 
set up which, within a vast but still calculable period will 
check the rotation altogether, and earth and moon will wheel 
on together through space, the earth turning the same face to 
the moon, as the moon does now to the earth. Long before 
this consummation is reached the human race must have 
ceased to exist, so that the condition matters little to us to 
which this home of ours is eventually to be reduced ; but in 
the system of nature many forces are in operation which have 
threatened to make an en4 of us, but which are found to be 
neutralised by some counterbalancing check. Waves propa- 
gated steadily in any direction create a current ; and these 
great waves in the Southern Ocean, for ever moving in the 
opposite direction to the tidal wave, may at least so far 
counteract it as to add a few million years to the period 
during which the earth will be habitable. 

From the Cape to Australia the distance is 6,000 miles, or 
a quarter of the circumference of the globe. Our speed wag 
thirteen knots an hour, and we were attended by a bodyguard 
of albatrosses, Cape hens, and sea-hawks the same birds, so 
the sailors said, following the ship without resting, all the way. 
I know not whether this be go, or how the fact has been 



66 OCEANA 

ascertained. One large gull is very like another, and the 
islands in the middle of the passage are their principal breed- 
ing-places. Anyway, from fifty to a hundred of them were 
round us at sunrise, round us when night fell, and with us 
again in the morning. They are very beautiful in the great 
ocean solitude. One could have wished that Coleridge had 
seen an albatross on the wing before he wrote the ' Ancient 
Mariner,' that the grace of the motion might have received a 
sufficient description. He wheels in circles round and round, 
and for ever round, the ship now far behind, now sweeping 
past in a long rapid curve, like a perfect skater on an un- 
touched field of ice. There is no effort ; watch as closely as 
you will, you rarely or never see a stroke of the mighty 
pinion. The flight is generally near the water, often close to 
it. Tou lose sight of the bird as he disappears in the hollow 
between the waves, and catch him again as he rises over the 
crest ; but how he rises and whence comes the propelling force 
is to the eye inexplicable ; he alters merely the angle at which 
the wings are inclined ; usually they are parallel to the water 
and horizontal ; but when he turns to ascend or makes a 
change in his direction the wings then point at an angle, one 
to the sky, the other to the water. Given a power of resist- 
ance to the air, and the air itself will do the rest, just as a 
kite flies ; but how without exertion is the resistance caused t 
However it be, the albatross is a grand creature. To the 
other birds, and even to the ship itself, he shows a stately 
indifference, as if he had been simply ordered to attend its 
voyage as an aerial guardian, but disdained to interest 
himself further. 

<" The Cape hen IB an inferior brute altogether. He, too, is 
large. One that flew on board us was seven feet across the 
wings. He is brown, hungry-looking, with a powerful hooked 
beak, and there is no romance in his reasons for pursuing us. 
So bold is he that he sweeps past the stern within reach of a 
tick, looking on the water for any scraps which the cook's 
mate may throw overboard, and glaring on crew and pas 
engera with a blue, cruel eye, as if he would like to see them 
overboard as well, and to have a chance of making his break- 



PASSENGERS* AMUSEMENTS 6? 

fast upon them. Besides these, Mother Carey's chickens 
skimmed over the water like swallows, with other small 
varieties of gull. The passengers' chief anxiety was to shoot 
these creatures, not that they could make any use of them, 
for the ship could not be stopped that they might be picked 
up, not entirely to show their skill, for if they had been dead 
things drifting in the wind they would not have answered the 
purpose, nor entirely, I suppose, from a love of killing, for 
ordinary men are not devils, but from some combination of 
motives difficult to analyse. The feathers of the large birds 
were too thick for the shot to penetrate. My acquaintance 
from the Diamond Fields had a rifle and emptied case after 
case of cartridges at them, for the most part in vain. A 
dancing platform to stand on, and an object moving sixty 
miles an hour, are not favourable to ball practice. One alba- 
tross, I am sorry to say, was hit at last. It fell wounded into 
the water, and in a moment the whole cannibal flock was 
tearing it to pieces not a pleasant sight ; but how about the 
human share in it ? The birds were eating their brother, but 
after all it was for food ; wild animals never kill for sport. 
Man is the only one to whom the torture and death oFhis 
fellow-creatures is amusing in itself. 

/ I heard Cardinal Manning once say that there could be no 
moral obligation on the part of man to the lower animals, he 
having a soul and they none. He was speaking of vivisection 
and condemning it, but on the ground not that it was unjust 
to the dogs and horses, but that it demoralised the operators. 
Our passengers, I suppose, would have taken the risk of being 
demoralised. Being lords of the creation they were doing ae 
they pleased with their own. 

He prayeth well who loveth well 

Both man and bird and beast ; 
He prayeth best who loveth best 

All things both great and small, 
For the dear God who loveth us 

He made and loveth all. 

So says Coleridge. We admire and quote but we hunt and 
shoot notwithstanding. We have a right to kill for our 

2 



68 OCEANA 

dinners ; we have a right perhaps to kill for entertainment, if 
we please to use it ; but why do we find killing so agreeable 1 

The days went rapidly by. The cold might be unpleasant, 
but it was wholesome ; we were all ' well ' how much lies in 
that word ! but we had no adventures. We passed St. Paul's 
Island and Kerguelen Island, one to the south, the other to 
the north, but saw neither. The great ocean steamers are 
not driven into port by stress of weather, but go straight 
upon their way. Voyages have thus lost their romance. No 
Odyssey is possible now, no ' Sindbad the Sailor/ no ' Robinson 
Crusoe/ not even a ' Gulliver's Travels/ only a Lady Brassey's 
Travels. The steam boiler and the firm blades of the screw 
are stronger than the elements. We have yoked horses of fire 
to our sea-chariots ; the wire-imprisoned lightning carries our 
messages round the globe, swifter than Ariel ; the elemental 
forces themselves are our slaves, and slaves, strange to say, of 
the meanest as well as of the noblest, as the genius of the 
lamp became the slave of the African magician. What, after 
all, have these wonderful achievements done to elevate human 
nature f Human nature remains as it was. Science grows, 
but morality is stationary, and art is vulgarised. Not here 
lie the things ' necessary to salvation/ not the things which 
can give to human life grace, or beauty, or dignity. 

Mankind, it seems, are equal to but one thing at a time. 
Dispositions change, but the eras as they pass bequeath 
to us their successive legacies. Though the conditions of an 
Odyssey are gone for ever, it was, it is, and cannot cease to 
be, and of all reading is the most delightful at sea. I had 
tried to combine Homer and Shakespeare, reading them 
alternately. But they would not mix. The genius was dif- 
ferent. Shakespeare interprets to us our own time and our own 
race. The Odyssey is a voice out of an era that is finished, and 
is linked to ours only by the identity of humanity. Man is 
the same at heart, and the sea is the same, and the fresh salt 
breeze breathes through its lines. I escaped from the gull- 
shooting to my cabin sofa, back into the old world and the 
adventures of the Ithacan prince. A fairy tale we should 
now call it, bat it WM no fairy tale to those who listened, or 



THE * ODYSSEY* 69 

to those who sang the story. When Ulysses tells Alcinous of 
his descent into hell, the old king does not smile over it as 
at a dream. ' Thou resemblest not,' he answers, ' a cheat or 
a deceiver, of whom the earth contains so many rogues who 
trade in lies. 2>oi ' &ri p*v fu>p<t>rj circW. Thy words have 
form, and thy brain has sense. Thou tellest thy experience 
like a bard.' Where were the lines which divided truth from 
falsehood in the mind of Alcinous 1 The words of Ulysses 
had/orm. Lies of the accursed sort have no form, and can- 
not be shaped into form. Organic form is possible only when 
there is life, and so the problem returns which so often haunts 
us. What is truth ? The apple falls by gravitation. Whether 
Newton ever watched an apple fall and drew his inference in 
consequence, has nothing to do with the universal reality 
which remains unaltered if the rest is a legend. The story of 
the apple is the shell. The truth is in the kernel or thing 
signified. Sacred history, in like manner, busy only to con- 
vey spiritual truth, is careless as Alcinous of inquiring into 
fact. It takes fact or legend or whatever comes to hand, and 
weaves it into form. Thft beauty of the form, and the spirit 
which animates the form, are the guarantees of truth and 
carry their witness in themselves. Thus we are rid for ever of 
critical controversies. The spirit is set free from the letter, 
and we can breathe and believe in peace. Too good news to 
be true ! Perhaps so. In a long voyage, where we can do no- 
thing but read and reflect, such thoughts come like shadows 
upon water when it is untouched by the breeze. The air ruffles 
it again and they are gone. ' We shall know all about it in 
another and a better world,' as the American storekeeper said, 
when so many shots were fired and no one was hit. 

KUKOV dvtfJL<a\ia jSafeiv. 
It ia ill to speak windy words. 

The cold weather persevered, even after we had loft ' the 
forties' again and turned north. The temperature of the 
water would not rise ; the icy currents flow right on to the 
great Australian bight, and there is no sense of warmth till 
the air comes heated off the land The wind being behind 



fO OCEANA 

as, the deck was tolerable, as there was no draught. The 
ports were kept closed because of the swell ; but the fire and 
a windsail kept the cabins fresh. We were well provided 
for every way, but the sameness of day after day became 
monotonous. The forward passengers drove the time away 
with cards, the cabin passengers with backgammon. At each 
noon there was an excitement to know where we were, and 
there was a raffle over the number of miles which the ship 
had run since the noon preceding. The Cape emigrants in- 
terested me more and more. They all seemed of opinion that 
the Dutch meant to try conclusions with us on the first fair 
opportunity, and that the Caffres, Zulus, and all the warlike 
tribes would be found on their side. The English reader may 
think it strange : to them it did not seem strange at all We 
were growing weary, however, every one of us, and counting 
the hours before we should hear the cry of land. 

By the middle of January the cold slightly relaxed. The 
sun shone with unusual warmth, and tempted us to lay off our 
overcoats. We could venture into the bath in the mornings 
again. For many nights it had been cloudy, but now the sky 
again cleared. The nebula in Orion shone like a patch of the 
Milky Way. The black chasm at the south-west angle of the 
Southern Cross showed blacker from the contrast, the more 
brilliant the stars. So black it was that one would have 
called it a passing cloud ; but the clouds went and came, and 
the inky spot remained unchanged, an opening into the awful 
solitude of unoccupied space. 

At length the last day came. In a few hours we were to 
sight Kangaroo Island. Books were packed away, and pre- 
parations made to leave my last reading was ' (Ediput 
Coloneus,' the most majestic of all the Greek plays. Human 
imagination has conceived nothing grander, nothing so grand, 
as the mysterious disappearance of the blind old king, the 
voice calling him to come which no mortal lips had uttered, 
the sight which only Theseus was allowed to look on, and 
Theseus, shading his eyes with his hand before a scene too 
awful to be described. It was the highest point achieved by 
the Greek branch of Adam's race The Australians, among 



FIRST SIGHT OF AUSTRALIA 71 

whom I was so soon to find myself, were the latest develop- 
ment of the same family. Among them there would be no 
OEdipus, no Theseus, no Sophocles, yet whatever has come out 
of man has its root in manjs nature ; and, if progress was not 
a dream, who could say what future of intellectual greatness 
might not yet lie before a people whose national life was still 
in its infancy 1 



CHAPTER VI. 

First sight of Australia Bay of Adelaide Sunday morning The harbour 
master Go on shore The port Houses Gardens Adelaide city The 
public gardens Beauty of them New acquaintances The Australian 
magpie The laughing jackass Interviewers Talk of Confederation Sail 
for Melbourne Aspect of the coast Williamstown. 

FROM the Cape to Australia from political discord, the con- 
flict of races, the glittering uniforms and the tramp of batta- 
lions from intrigue and faction, and the perpetual interference 
of the Imperial Government, to a country where politics are 
but differences of opinion, where the hand of the Imperial 
Government is never felt, where the people are busy with 
their own affairs, and the harbours are crowded with ships, 
and the quays with loading carts, and the streets with men, 
where everyone seems occupied, and everyone at least mode- 
rately contented the change is great indeed. The climate ia 
the same. The soil, on the average, is equal ; what Australia 
produces, South Africa produces with equal freedom. In 
Australia, too, there is a mixture of races English, Germans, 
and Chinese ; yet in one all is life, vigour, and harmony ; the 
other lies blighted, and every effort for its welfare fails. What 
is the explanation of so vast a difference ? One is a free 
colony, the other is a conquered country. One is a natural 
and healthy branch from the parent oak, left to grow as 
nature prompts it, and bearing its leaves and acorns at its own 
impulse. No bands or ligaments impede the action of the 
vital force. The parent tree does not say to it, You shall 
grow in this shape, and not in that ; but leaves it to choose its 



ft OCEANA 

own. Thus it spreads and enlarges its girth, and roots itself 
each year more firmly in the stem from which it has sprung. 
The Cape, to keep to the same simile, is a branch doing its 
best to thrive, but withering from the point where it joins the 
trunk, as if at that spot some poison was infecting it. It is 
pleasant to turn from shadow to sunshine, from a gangrene in 
the body politic of Oceana to a country where the eye sees 
something fresh to please on whichever side it turns, where 
the closest acquaintance only brings out more distinctly how 
happy, how healthy English life can be in this far off depen- 
dency. We were bound for Melbourne and Sydney, but the 
first point at which we were to touch was Adelaide, named 
after William the Fourth's queen, the capital of South Aus- 
tralia. We passed Kangaroo Island before dawn on January 
18, thirty-nine days after leaving Plymouth. January there 
corresponds to our July, and when we anchored it was on a 
soft warm summer morning. 

The bay of Adelaide is a long broad estuary, with a small 
river running into it behind a sandbank, which forms a port 
like the harbour at Calais. The broad Murray falls into the 
sea at no great distance to the westward ; but is cut off from 
Adelaide by a line of mountains, and loses itself in shoals and 
and before it reaches the ocean. The site for the town was 
chosen on the only spot upon the coast where vessels have a 
safe basin in which to load alongside a wharf. The town 
itself is seven miles inland in a hollow below the hills. The 
port, which is growing fast into a second city, is connected 
with it by a railway and by an almost unbroken series of villas. 
Adelaide is not more than fifty years old. It grew first into 
consequence through the Burra Burra copper -mine a hill of 
virgin metal, which was brought there by sea and smelted. 
Burra Burra is worked out, and mine and smelting furnaces 
lie deserted ; but Adelaide has found a safer basis for pro- 
sperity, and is the depot of an enormous corn and wool district 
with which it is connected by arterial railways. Five years 
ago South Australia had between two and three million acres 
under the plough. There has been again a further increase. 
The crops are light, but the grain is of peculiar excellence. 



SUNDAY MORNING 73 

We dropped anchor at breakfast-time. The bay waa 
shallow, and we were a mile and a half from the shore. In 
front of us were long lines of houses, churches, towers, big 
hotels, and warehouses ; wooden jetties ran far out into the 
sea, and across the sandbank were forests of masts, where 
ships were riding in the river behind. The land seemed level 
for ten or twelve miles inwards, and in the background rose a 
range of mountains looking brown and bare from the heat, but 
clothed at intervals with heavy masses of timber, and divided 
by ravines which in the winter are copious watercourses. 

The wheat had been cut, and the fields, which three months 
earlier had been green as an English meadow, looked as arid 
as Castile. It was Sunday and all was quiet. A steam launch 
came off, bringing a port official, a rough-spoken but good- 
natured gentleman, who took me in charge. Our stay was to 
be brief : he undertook that I should make the best use of the 
time which the captain could allow. He had been out fishing 
with the Controller of the Customs when we hove in sight, 
They had caught a bream or two and a mackerel or two, one 
of these like the mackerel of the Channel ; the other, which I 
cannot find in the book of Australian fish, a mackerel evidently, 
from the tail, the skin, and the opal tints, but short, broad, and 
shaped like a tench. They saw us coming and had hauled 
their anchor to be ready for us. The first thing that struck 
me and the impression remained during all my stay in 
Australia was the pure English that was spoken there. 
They do not raise the voice at the end of a sentence, as the 
Americans do, as if with a challenge to differ from them. 
They drop it courteously like ourselves. No provincialism haa 
yet developed itself. The tone is soft, the language good, the 
aspirates in the right places. My friend talked fast about all 
sorts of things on our way to the pier. When we landed he 
took me first to his house adjoining it a sort of bungalow, 
with a garden, and a few trees to keep off the heat. He pro- 
duced a bottle of Australian hock, light and pleasantly flavoured, 
with some figs and apricots. We then walked out, to look 
about us under the shade of our umbrellas. There were 
cottages and villas everywhere ; the business people in the 



74 OCEANA 

city bringing their families to the sea in the hot weather for 
bathing. They were low, generally of one story, shaded with 
large india-rubber trees, the fronts festooned with bougain- 
villaeas, the hedges of purple tamarisk, and the small garden 
bright with oleanders and scarlet geraniums. After walking 
for a mile we reached the port. ' Thirty years ago the spot 
where it stands was a mud swamp. Piles were driven in ; 
stone, gravel, earth, and shingle were laid on in tens of thousands 
of tons. The area was raised above the tideway, made firm 
and dry, and is now laid out in broad quays, and covered with 
broad handsome streets and terraces. The harbour was full of 

% 

ships : great steamers, great liners, coasting schooners, ships 
of all sorts. Among them a frigate newly painted, and seeming 
to be intended rather for show than use, like a suit of armour 
with no one inside it. My guide growled out, ' There is our 
harbour defence ship, which the English Government insists 
on our maintaining. It is worth nothing, and never will be. 
Our naval defences cost us 25,OOOJ. a year. We should pay 
the 25,0002. to the Admiralty, and let them do the defence for 
us. They can manage such things better than we can.' This 
seemed likely to be true ; and I heard more of it afterwards, 
as will be told in its place. 

After looking round the port, we stepped into the railway 
station. Being Sunday and a holiday, there was a crowd of 
clerks on their way to the town, and the carriages were rapidly 
filling. We found seats in one of them along with half-a-dozen 
young lads, very English in look and manner, not lean and 
sun-dried, but fair, fleshy, lymphatic, and fresh-coloured ; for 
the rest, well-dressed, good-natured, and easy-going, all with 
pipes in their mouths, all polite and well-mannered. The fields 
on each side of the line were as brown as the Sahara, but wheat 
crops had been reaped upon them a month before. When the 
rain came they would grow green again ; and even, burnt up 
as they were, cattle and sheep were grazing in the stubble. 
We ran along through an avenue of stone pines, which had 
been planted eight years back, and were now handsome trees. 
You could see how fertile the soil would be if continually 
irrigated, by the country houses which were buried in foliage. 



ADELAIDE 7J 

There needs but a great reservoir in the mountains, such ai 
they have made for Melbourne, and the plain of Adelaide 
might be as the gardens of Ephraim. 

We rose slightly from the sea, and at the end of the seven 
miles we saw below us in a basin, with the river winding 
through it, a city of a hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, 
not one of whom has ever known, or will know, a moment's 
anxiety as to the recurring regularity of his three meals a day. 

Adelaide is already a large child for its years. Its streets 
are laid out in anticipation of a larger future broad, bold, 
and ambitious. Public buildings, law courts, Parliament 
house, are on the grand scale. Churches of all denominations 
are abundant and handsome symptoms all of a people well-to- 
do, and liking to have an exterior worthy of them. It was 
busy England over again, set free from limitations of space. 
There were the same faces, the same voices, the same shops 
and names on them ; the same advertisements making hideous 
wall and hoarding, the same endless variety of church, chapel, 
and meeting-house. I asked my guide what a building was, a 
little different from the rest. 'Another way to heaven,' he 
answered impatiently. The Governor being absent, and being 
without acquaintances in Adelaide or time to form any, I had 
no calls to pay. We hired a carriage and drove round the 
environs ; and then, as it was midday and hot, we went foi 
shelter to the Botanical Gardens. 

It was my first experience of the success of the Australian 
municipalities in this department. Whether it be the genius 
of the country, or some development of the sense of beauty 
from the general easiness of life, or the readiness of soil and 
climate to respond to exertion, certain it is that the public 
gardens in the Australian towns are the loveliest in the world, 
and that no cost is spared in securing the services of the 
most eminent horticulturists. The custodian at Adelaide, 
Dr. Schomberg, has a worldwide reputation, and he is allowed 
free scope for his art. Ornament is more considered than 
profit, and flowers and flowering shrubs than fruit trees. He 
follows Goethe's rule in taking care of the beautiful, and 
leaving the useful to take care of itself. I was sorry to uiisa 



76 OCEANA 

Dr. Schomberg ; we looked for him at his house, but he waa 
absent. The gardens not being open to the public on Sundays 
till the afternoon, we had them to ourselves, and could wander 
at leisure. Trees from all parts of the world are gathered 
together in that one spot, of the rarest kinds. The flowers 
with which we are familiar as exotics in our forcing-houses 
luxuriate as in their natural home. The oleander towers and 
spreads in pale pink glory. The crimson hibiscus glows among 
the bananas ; passion-flowers blue, purple, and scarlet hang 
in careless festoons among the branches. The air is loaded 
with perfume from datura, orange-flowers, stephanotis, and 
endless varieties of jessamine. Araucarias, acacia-trees, Nor- 
folk Island pines, tulip-trees, <kc., are dispersed over the 
lawns, grouped, not as science would order them, but as 
they would be arranged by a landscape painter. Avenues of 
dense evergreens, the Moreton-bay fig-tree conspicuous among 
them, invite you under their shade. I missed two things 
only : for our delicate grass there is buffalo-grass, whose coarse 
fibre no care in mowing can conceal ; worse than that was the 
water there was a pond on which Dr. Schomberg had done 
all which his art could accomplish with water-lilies white, 
pink, and blue, swans black and white, and particoloured 
ducks and geese; the banks were fringed with weeping 
willows growing to the dimensions of vast forest trees; but 
the water itself was liquid mud, so dirty that the pure blue 
of the sky turned brown when reflected on it. Such is the 
nature of the rivers and pools in that country, and such it 
must remain till the engineers have made dams across the 
mountain valleys, and preserved the rain as it falls from 
heaven, in artificial lakes. All in good time : even Australian! 
cannot do everything at once. 

Thanks to my guide I had seen the outside of Adelaide ; 
the inside, the ways and characters of the men who had made 
it, I had no leisure to see. An interviewer found me out, and 
fired questions into me which I had no inclination to answer ; 
so we made our way to the station again, and in half an hour 
were sheltered at our friend's bungalow, with a handsome 
luncheon before tu. The home of his fishing companion of 



NEW ACQUAINTANCES 77 

the morning the Controller of the Customs was a few yard 
distant. Luncheon over, I was taken across, to be introduced. 
I found an agreeable and intelligent gentleman in an airy 
room with cool mats instead of carpets, opening into a verandah, 
where his ladies were engaged over the national five-o'clock 
tea. We were 12,000 miles from England ; yet we were in 
England still, and England at its best, so far as I could gather 
from the conversation. The Controller showed me his curiosi- 
ties, his fish which he had caught in the morning, his garden, 
his poultry-yard, and his aviary, in which last I made two 
acquaintances with whom I afterwards grew into more intimacy. 
The first was the Australian magpie a magpie certainly, with 
the same green, cunning eye, the same thievish nature, the 
game mottled coat ; the difference between him and our magpie 
being that he has no long tail, that he is rather larger, and 
that, instead of the harsh cry of his European relation, he has 
the sweetest voice of all Australian birds, a low crooning but 
exquisitely melodious gurgle, which he intensely enjoys. A 
dozen of them will gather in a tree together and hold a long 
morning concert. My second new acquaintance was a much 
stranger being the laughing jackass of the forest. This 
creature may be a piece of metamorphosed humanity, so subtle 
is his humour, so like a spoilt child he is in many of his ways. 
He is the size of a crow with the shape of a jay, and is of a 
greenish-brown colour. His throat is thick, his beak large 
and strong, and in the woods his chief amusement is to seize 
hold of snakes and bite their heads off. This is a human 
trait in him, as if he knew something about our first mother's 
misfortune. And he has no shyness about him. He willingly 
exchanges his liberty for good quarters in a yard or on a 
lawn, and likes well to have human beings about him. He 
knows his master and mistress, knows what they say to him, 
knows what he is expected to do, and if he doesn't choose, 
which is usually the case, he is as determined as a naughty 
boy not to do it. His laugh is exactly like a man's- -not the 
genial sort, but malicious and mocking. He was told to 
laugh, that I might hear him. Not a note would he utter. 
He was rebuked, taken in hand, and admonished. No laugh 



78 OCEANA 

came from him, nor can I construe literally the words which 
he used in reply ; but it was perfectly clear to me that he was 
swearing worse than a Spanish muleteer, and he went through 
his whole vocabulary before he would stop. 

In the club garden at Melbourne I had afterwards another 
chance of observing the temper of these curious birds. A 
jackass lived there, with a wing clipped, to keep him out of 
mischief. He used to march up and do-vn on the grass, chat 
with the members as they sat in the verandah with their 
newspapers, and was a universal favourite for his wit and 
readiness. One day, as I was alone there, I saw my friend 
sunning himself under a wall, and I walked up to talk to him. 
He liked generally to have his head scratched, as parrots do, 
so I tried to ingratiate myself in this way. He affected to be 
bored, submitting with an indifferent languid air, as if telling 
me that he cared nothing about me and would much prefer to 
be let alone. A cat who had been basking in the distance 
observed what was going on, and seeing how ungraciously my 
advances were received, came sloping over and pushed her 
head into my hand, intimating that she at least would like to 
be stroked very well. It was delightful to see the jackass. 
His wicked little eye flashed ; he glanced at the cat, went for 
her with his beak, and drove her off the field. 

I had a pleasant conversation with the Controller and his 
family, who had many questions to ask about ' home ' and 
what was going on there. I would gladly have stayed longer; 
but the evening was wearing on and I was obliged to return 
to the ship. On the jetty, before I could reach the launch, 
I was fairly captured by an interviewer and put through my 
paces. Another came alongside at midnight and insisted on 
seeing me, but was warned off by the kind care of the watch 
on deck. They wanted my opinions on the federation of the 
Australian Colonies with one another, on the federation of 
the whole of them with the mother country, most of all, on 
the sudden squall which had blown up since we left England 
over the German occupation of part of New Guinea, and the 
npposed delinquencies of the Colonial Minister. Of the latter 
I knew nothing, and had never heard of them. On federation 



SAIL FOR MELBOURNE 79 

of either kind I had come to learn the opinions of the Colonists, 
not to offer opinions of my own. Such views as I had myself 
formed were tentative and provisional, subject to correction 
in every detail by fuller information. Earnestly desirous I 
was and always had been to see a united Oceana united as 
closely as the American States are united but of how the 
union was to be brought about I had not a notion which I did 
not hold with the utmost diffidence, and I was particularly 
unwilling to set my crude ideas flying in the newspapers. I 
evaded my cross-questioners as well as I could, and I regretted 
afterwards the few humble sentiments which I allowed to be 
drawn out of me. However, as I found eventually, the good 
people meant no harm. Their object generally seemed to be 
the same as my own. I had nothing to complain of, except a 
curiosity which, in itself, was innocent enough. 

We sailed for Melbourne the next morning, where we 
intended to land finally and remain. The day was still 
bright j the sea blue-green in the shallow water. The alba- 
trosses had left us : we were attended now by flights of the 
small, beautifully white Australian gull. The coast was 
generally bold, but it opened at intervals into wooded valleys 
with sandy beaches, where were solitary cottages of fishermen 
who supplied the Adelaide market. The fish are not of the 
highest order, but good enough and abundant. Oysters were 
everywhere ; no crabs or lobsters, but crayfish in plenty, 
which are an excellent substitute. We passed a point where 
a steamer had been lately run ashore. The captain, I was 
told, had been agitated by having an English duke on board, 
and had not been entirely himself. When we drew clear of 
the islands the character of the rocks altered, and the coast 
became like the coast of Suffolk low perpendicular cliffs of 
pale brown sandstone, which was unequally yielding to the 
unresting wash of the waves, and was shaped by light and 
shadow into buttresses and bastions. Behind the crags the 
land was green and undulating, and extremely rich. They call 
it the Potato Land ; all the Australian sea-towns are supplied 
from it. 

One more night, and the day following was the last of our 



8o OCEANA 

voyage, the finish of an undisturbed nx weeks, the sea all 
round me, and the blue sky by day and the stars by night over 
my head, and the fresh clean breezes to blow away dust and 
care. I hope I was properly grateful for so blessed a relief. 
A few more hours and we were to bid adieu to the ' Austral- 
asian,' her light-souled but good and clever captain, her ever 
kind and attentive officers. She had carried us safely down 
under, as the Square gardener put it to me afterwards in 
London, scarcely able to believe it could be reality. I was 
asleep when we passed between the ' Heads ' at Port Phillip, 
and was only conscious of the change from the long ocean roll 
outside to the calm of the great bay. When I woke and went 
on deck we were alongside the wharf at Williamstown, with 
Melbourne straight before us five miles off", and the harbour 
reaching all the way to it. In my life I have never been more 
astonished. Adelaide had seemed a great thing to me, but 
Melbourne was a real wonder. Williamstown is the port, from 
which vessels outward bound take their departure. The 
splendid docks there were choked with ships loading and un- 
loading. Huge steamers five, six, or seven thousand tons 
from all parts of the world, were lying round us or beside us. 
In the distance we saw the smoke of others. Between us and 
the city there seemed scarcely to be room for the vessels 
anchored there ; from their masthead or stern the English flag 
blowing out proud and free, and welcoming us to Australia as 
to a second home Steam launches, steam ferry-boats, tugs, 
coasting steamers were flying to and fro, leaving behind them, 
alas ! black volumes of smoke, through which the city loomed 
large as Liverpool. The smoke is a misfortune. The Sydney 
coal, cheap as it is, and excellent for all useful purposes, u 
fuliginous beyond any coal I have fallen in with, and on wind- 
less mornings, like that on which we arrived, a black cloud 
envelops harbour and town. But it is seldom thus, and there 
is generally a breeze. Even the smoke itself means business, 
life, energy ; and along the shore for miles and miles rose the 
villas and plantations of the Melbourne magnates suburban, 
unromantic, but all the more reminding one of England, and 
tolling of wealth and enjoyment 



LANDING AT MELBOURNE 81 



CHAPTER VII. 

Landing at Melbourne First impression of the city Sir Henry Loch Govern- 
ment House Party assembled there Agitation about New Guinea The 
Monroe doctrine in the Pacific Melbourne gardens Victorian Society The 
Premier Federation, local and imperial The Astronomer Royal The 
Observatory English institutions reproduced Proposed tour in the Colony 
Melbourne amusements Music The theatre Sunday at Melbourne- 
Night at the Observatory. 

WE landed at our leisure at Williamstown, from which a 
railway train was to take us to the city. We were in no 
hurry, for the day was still early, and we had no plans, save to 
find an hotel in the course of it. A ' nigger,' who must have 
weighed thirty stone, wheeled our luggage to the station in a 
hand cart. As at Adelaide, I was impressed by the good 
English and good manners of the station officials. There was 
an American smartness about them, but it was American 
with a difference. Something might be due to the climate 
Manners soften of themselves where tempers are never rufflet. 
by cold. The line makes a long circuit by the shore ; we had 
ten miles to go. The fields were inclosed all the way with the 
Australian rails one hears riding men talk about heavy 
timbers four feet and a half or five feet high. Clusters of 
wooden houses were sprinkled about, growing thicker as we 
advanced, and painted white to keep off the sun. Gardens 
and flowers were, as usual, universal. Melbourne station was, 
like other metropolitan stations in the world, vast, crowded, 
and unbeautiful. Again some ingenuity was needed to escape 
the newspaper people ; we extricated ourselves only at last by 
a promise of future submission, and got away in a cab with 
our luggage. I was disappointed, after Adelaide, with the first 
appearance of the streets. Melbourne is twice as large, and 
many times more than twice as rich. The population of it is 
300,000, who are as well off as any equal number of people in the 
whole world. But the city has grown hastily, and carries the 
signs of it on the surface. The streets are broad. There are 
splendid single buildings : Town Hall, University, Parliament- 

e 



82 OCEAN A 

houses, public offices, besides banks, exchanges, and again 
churches, <tc. There are superb shops too, gorgeous as any in 
London or Paris. But side by side with them you see houses 
little better than sheds. People have built as they could, and 
as their means allowed them, and they have been too busy to 
study appearances. But they have boundless wealth, and as 
boundless ambition and self-confidence. They are proud of 
themselves and of what they have done, and will soon polish 
up their city when they can look about them at their leisure. 

At the hotel to which we were taken we found a message 
that we were not to remain there, but were expected at 
Government House. I ha'd already a slight acquaintance with 
Sir Henry and Lady Loch an acquaintance which I waa 
delighted to think that I should improve into intimacy, while, 
as the Governor's guest, I should see everyone that I wished 
to see. I said there could be no Odyssey now, but Sir Henry 
Loch has passed through at least one adventure which Ulysses 
might have been told in Alcinous's hall, and to which the 
Phseacian youth would have listened with burning interest. 
He had been a prisoner in the Chinese war, sentenced to be 
executed, and taken out every morning for a fortnight in the 
belief that he was to be killed then and there a unique ex- 
perience, enough in itself to have killed most men without the 
executioner's assistance. The composure with which he had 
borne the trial marked him as an exceptional person. He was 
taken into the public service, and had been made at last 
Governor of the Isle of Man, where he ruled long as the con- 
stitutional sovereign of a singular people, and achieved the 
highest success nowadays possible the success of being never 
spoken of outside his dominions. His Manx subjects had 
been devoted to him ; his reign lasted fifteen years ; he had 
been like a Greek /JcuriAcJs, pater patria, or father of his 
people ; and when the authorities in Downing Street began to 
feel that they must change their ways with the colonies and 
raise the quality of the governors, he had been selected to pre- 
side over Victoria a choice most commendable, for a fitter 
man could not have been found. There was a time when men 
were selected to represent their sovereign in the colonies for 



GOVERNMENT HOUSE 83 

other reasons than fitness. I am an old man now, and my 
memory goes a long way back. I remember asking a noble 

duke why Lord had been made governor of a certain 

colony. He answered, ' Because he is a bankrupt peer.' 
1 They asked me,' the duke continued, ' whether I would 
undertake such a thing. I said I was not qualified ; I was 
still solvent.' Now of course under our reformed Parliament 
uch appointments are impossible. Sir Henry Loch at Mel- 
bourne is a fit representative of the better order of things. 

Government House stands in a commanding position on a 
high wooded plateau a mile from the town on the opposite side 
of the Yarra, overlooking the park and the river valley. In 
the great days of the gold digging, when Victoria was first 
rising into consequence, and the State had not settled into its 
saddle, no official residence could be provided for the Governor, 
and the Colony had munificently allowed, I believe, 15,OOOZ. a 
year, out of which he was to furnish himself as he pleased. 
When the parliamentary constitution was conceded, a more 
dignified arrangement was resolved upon, better suited to the 
Colony's ambitions. An architect was selected, a site was 
chosen, and the architect, as I heard the story, was directed 
to produce a plan. He sketched a Gothic construction, which 
was wisely disapproved as out of character with the climate. 
The minister of public works asked to look at his book of 
designs. On the first page was Osborne. ' Something like 
that,' the minister said, ' on a scale slightly reduced ; ' and the 
result was the present palace, for such it is not a very hand- 
some building, in some aspects even ugly, but large and impos- 
ing. There is a tower in the centre of it a hundred and fifty 
feet high, on which waves the Imperial flag. There are the 
due lodges, approaches, porticoes, vast reception rooms, vast 
official dining-room and drawing-room, and the biggest ball- 
room in the world, all on a scale with the pride of the aspiring 
little State, with the private part of the house divided off by 
doors and passages, and having its own separate entrance. 
The expense was great, and the Governor was the principal 
sufferer. The big ball-room and the accompanying entertain- 
ments are a heavy demand on his now reduced allowance. 

S 



U OCEANA 

We found Sir Henry surrounded by his aides-de-camp, 
among whom were two young aristocrats sent to study colonial 
institutions under him ; and a house full of distinguished 

visitors, among whom was E , a Scotch representative 

peer, quiet, humorous, sensible, slightly scornful as you began 
to see when you knew him better, and rather proud of being 
known at home as ' the worst-dressed man in London.' Be- 
sides E there were several others a really brilliant party ; 

Sir Henry being hospitable, and anxious to promote acquaint- 
ance between English travellers and the leading colonists. He 
was himself just then in warm water from the excitement 
caused by the German invasion of New Guinea, as it was 
called, of which I had heard at Adelaide. The Australians 
naturally enough regard themselves as the leading power in 
the South Pacific, and besides their own immense continent 
look on the adjacent islands as their proper inheritance. The 
Americans have their Monroe doctrine, prohibiting European 
nations from settling on their side of the Atlantic, except as 
American subjects. Australia especially the ambitious, push- 
ing Melbourne which claims to be the leading State, had un- 
consciously come to a similar conclusion respecting all the 
neighbouring territory. The Australians meant it to be theirs 
as soon as they had leisure to occupy it ; and to learn that 
close at their doors, as they said, the dreadful Bismarck con- 
templated a rival establishment had stirred them into a temper 
at the moment of my arrival. A German colony 2,000 miles 
away did not seem likely to hurt them, but it was a beginning 
which might lead to consequences, and was the violation of a 
principle. We at home take such things more coolly ; but 
young nations are like young men, sensitive and passionate ; 
and even their most experienced statesmen do not escape the 
contagion. The irritation over the French convict station in 
New Caledonia had but half subsided. The French concessions 
in that matter were held to be far from sufficient. Their 
grievances on this point had been legitimate enough ; but now 
on the back of it came looming a danger which touched their 
dignity and their imagination. They saw at their doors, in 
the intended New Guinea settlement, German soldiers, Gar- 



AGITATION ABOUT NEW GUINEA 85 

man fleets, German competition with their trade, a great rival 
German influence menacing their wealth, their institutions, 
their independence. It was a thing too horrible to contem- 
plate, a thing to be instantly denounced and resisted. Our 
Home Government has been trying for some time past to 
federate the Australian States into a Dominion like the 
Canadian, as a saving of trouble to Downing Street. Part of 
the scheme was to be the formation of a Dominion fleet, in 
which the separate ship of the now divided colonies were to 
be united under a flag of their own, to relieve the English 
Navy of the burden of defending them. In the condition of 
mind in which I found Melbourne about New Guinea I 
thought it really fortunate that the federation was still incom- 
plete. 

If Australia had been a single State with a fleet of its own 
and with the Melbourne statesmen at its head, as they would 
probably be, it is not at all impossible, so angry were they, 
that of their own motion they would have sent their ships 
round to warn the Germans off. Of course a step like this 
would be equivalent to a break-up of the British Empire. 
Australia is part of that empire, or it is not. If it is part, the 
mother country is responsible for the doings of its depen- 
dencies, and the peace or war of the empire will lie in the 
power of each of its branches. No State can preserve its 
unity with two executives. The Australians do not contem- 
plate separation. They desire nothing less ; but hot-headed 
men do not always pause to calculate the consequences of 
their actions. I understood better after hearing the language 
used in Victoria the meaning of my friend at Adelaide, who 
wished the colonies to exchange their war-ships into a subsidy 
to the Home Government. Of course I do not mean that the 
conduct which I speak of was likely. Of course it was not 
likely ; but it ought not to be possible. Where there is strong 
provocation the possession of means to resent an imagined 
wrong is a temptation to use those means ; and on the first 
news of the German movement (for they became cooler after- 
wards) the provocation in the press, in society, and among 



86 OCEANA 

the responsible authorities in the colonies was very strong 
indeed. 

As matters stood, the anger was directed as much at 
England as at Germany. As they could not act for themselves 
they thought that England ought to have acted for them, 
to have claimed New Guinea at once as British territory, 
and to have ordered the Germans out of it as peremptorily 
as the Americans ordered the French out of Mexico. They 
blamed the Gladstone ministry ; they blamed especially the 
Colonial Secretary, the unfortunate Lord Derby. Impatient 
people talked of petitioning the Crown for his dismissal. To 
them as to all of us their own affairs were nearest, and the 
maintenance of the British Empire was made to turn upon 
this particular point. In the ablest, coolest, and best-disci- 
plined colonial politicians there is an enthusiasm of youth 
bound up with their highest qualities. We ought to allow for 
such feelings : to respect, admire, and perhaps envy them, 
though we cannot allow them to influence our imperial action. 
Lord Derby may have been too cold in manner. They com- 
plained bitterly that he had no sympathy with them. Kind 
words cost nothing, and the Australian impatience was, after 
all, but an exaggerated jealousy for the honour of Oceana. 
But, so far as action went, Lord Derby did all that was 
possible, as I, when I was asked my opinion, always tried to 
how them. In the United States a Monroe doctrine is 
possible because the political union is complete. The States 
are one and indivisible, and each is bound to support the 
central authority. If England and her colonies were organised 
as the States are organised, we too might, if we pleased, have 
our Monroe doctrine in the Pacific. It is unreasonable to 
require us to challenge a great European power in the interest 
of countries which, if they liked, might leave us to-morrow, 
and who meanwhile contribute nothing to the fleets and 
armies which would be required to maintain their pretensions. 
On cooler reflection those who had been most angry began to 
see that their fears had been excessive, and that a German 
colony on the far side of the far-distant New Guinea could not 
do them much harm after all A military station it could never 



DELIGHTFUL QUARTERS 7 

be. A colony would be free, like their own, and, if it pro 
spered, would probably, in the end, assimilate with themselves. 

The storm, however, had been as sudden as it was violent. 
Not a word had been heard of it before I left England, and 
some days had to pass before I comprehended what it was 
all about. Meantime I was looking round me and enjoying 
the delightful quarters in which I found myself. Our windows 
on the north overlooked the park, which was planted with 
clumps of pinus insignis and eucalyptus. Between and among 
them roofs rose of handsome houses, and, apart from the rest, 
the scattered buildings of the Observatory. At the park gate 
was the Yarra River, and Melbourne beyond it, in the distance; 
and when the smoke was off, and the fine buildings stood 
out conspicuous, the town looked really fine with its domes 
and steeples, Houses of Parliament, and Courts of Justice like 
the Four Courts in Dublin. To the west was the Harbour, 
and Williamstown where we had landed, with its crowded 
shipping; in the distance was the western ocean into which at 
evening we saw the sun set in crimson splendour. The private 
gardens surrounding the house were fairly kept by the Colonial 
authorities. Bright in such a climate they could not fail to 
be, and there was the usual lawn-tennis ground, where the 
aides-de-camp and the Melbourne young ladies played with as 
much enthusiasm as at home. The trees, however, wanted 
the English softness, both of form and colour. The coarse 
buffalo-grass eats, like a destroying monster, into its delicate 
English rival and kills it out of the way. More may and 
should be done in the ornamental garden department if it is 
to be worthy of such a mansion. In the kitchen garden I saw 
pear and apple trees destroyed by the burden of fruit which 
they were allowed to endeavour to ripen large branches 
literally broken off, some of them, by a weight which they 
could not carry ; others, which could not so relieve themselves, 
dying of exhaustion. Melbourne, Sydney, and even more, I 
believe, Tasmania, can grow apples and pears enough to supply 
the world with cider and perry, and plums, apricots, and 
peaches enough to surfeit us with preserves. 

Adjoining the grounds of Government House and con 



M OCEANA 

nected with them by a private walk down a picturesque 
ravine, are the public gardens of the city, which eclipse even 
those of Adelaide in size and the opportunities of the situation. 
The Melbourne gardens are on the slope of a valley, at the 
head of which, and where the incline is nearly precipitouSj 
the tower and battlements of the house stand out conspicuous. 
The gardens themselves extend for a mile with a large sheet 
of winding water in the middle of them. As at Adelaide no 
expense has been spared : and I think I observed more atten- 
tion to scientific arrangement in the grouping of the trees. 
Broad lawns, kept carefully watered, open out at intervals 
with flower-beds blazing with splendour. The lake has islands 
in it, approached over pretty bridges, and it will be one day 
beautiful when the water is filtered. Here was all which 
heart of visitor could desire : avenues to stroll in which a 
vertical sun could not penetrate ; with the glory of colour 
which nature lavishes on leaf and petal to look at. Alas ! that 
in all things in this world there should be a something one 
could wish away. The something here was the flies, of all 
sizes and hues, who were in millions, and who, like the giant 
in 'Jack and the Beanstalk,' 'smell the smell of an English- 
man,' and fasten on him and devour him. A cigar would be 
a remedy but for the stern ' No smoking allowed in these 
precincts.' The gardeners happily are more humane than their 
masters, and do not see the forbidden thing when it is not 
flourished in their faces. With the help of tobacco I contrived 
to protect myself, and thus guarded I had the most charming 
place to walk in all the time of my stay, and a great many 
curious things to observe. They are trying hard to introduce 
English trees, and succeed tolerably with some. The elms 
and planes thrive best ; of oaks they have fifty varieties, I 
think, and none of them do really well. They grow vigorously 
for a year or two, then lose their leading shoot, which die* 
away, and they throw out branches horizontally. I noticed, 
however, that they bore the largest acorns which I had ever 
een. They are perhaps acclimatising themselves, and oat of 
these acorns may come true monarch* of the forest, graadei 
than oar own. 



VICTORIAN SOCIETY 89 

Meanwhile indoors we were studying the Victorians and 
Victorian society. Party followed party, and it was English 
life over again : nothing strange, nothing exotic, nothing new 
or original, save perhaps in greater animation of spirits. The 
leaves that grow on one branch of an oak are not more like 
the leaves that grow upon another, than the Australian swarm 
is like the hive it sprang from. All was the same dress, 
manners, talk, appearance. The men were quite as sensible* 
the women as pretty, and both as intelligent and agreeable. 
I could not help asking myself what, after all, is the meaning 
of uniting the colonies more closely to ourselves. They are 
closely united ; they are ourselves ; and can separate only in 
the sense that parents and children separate, or brothers and 
sisters ; and until symptoms have actually appeared of a wish 
on our part to throw them off, or on theirs to desert us, the 
very talk of such a thing ought not to be. Nor need any 
other straiter bond exist between us, were there but one execu- 
tive among us, or even but one fleet, since in no other way 
can the colonies come in collision with a foreign power. 
Parents and children do not enter into articles of compact. If 
the natural tie is not strong enough, no mechanical tie will 
hold. And it is on account of this existing relationship 
between us that the sting has lain of the late suggestion of 
parting with the colonies. They have felt as a child would 
feel who was trying to do his best, and was conscious that he 
was no discredit to the family, yet was told by his father that 
the family had no wish to keep him, and that the sooner he 
took himself off the better. It was treating close kinsmen as if 
we acknowledged no relationship with them except of interest, 
and kinsmen are apt to resent such unhuman indifference. 

Several of the Victorian ministers dined with the Governor 
while I was there, and other gentlemen of past or present 
distinction. They seemed all to be persons who would have 
been distinguished anywhere made of the same material as 
our public men at home. They would have gone to the front 
in the English House of Commons as easily as in their own 
legislature, and have become members of Cabinets in London 
instead of at Melbourne. I waa introduced to Mr Service. 



90 OCEANA 

the Premier, sat next him at dinner, and liked him well. He 
is a spare, lean man, rather over the middle height, with a high, 
well-shaped forehead, grey eyes (so they seemed to me by 
lamplight), fine in their way ; a manner quiet but dignified J 
a mouth that indicated a capacity for anger if there was 
occasion for it. In this last indication his mouth, I believe, 
does not belie him. He is the representative of the ambition 
of Victoria to be the chief state in a federated Australia, and 
is an ardent supporter of the colonial federation policy. The 
Australian colonies have grown with a rapidity which justifies 
extensive expectations for them. Mr. Service sees before him 
at the end of half a century an Australia with fifty million 
inhabitants : a second United States of itself, in the Southern 
Hemisphere. I have no right, and certainly no wish, to throw 
a doubt on this. If the several provinces continue to increase 
their numbers at the present rate, there will be more than 
fifty millions then. There is a proverb that ' nothing is certain 
but the unforeseen,' and in fact few things turn out as we 
expect them. 

ravra 6tuv iv yovvaai icflrai. 

But it is well to be sanguine, and we are the better off for our 
hopes even if they are never realised. In the distance and 
when it has reached these dimensions, Mr. Service probably 
looks forward to Australian independence. But for the pre- 
sent and for a long time to come, he said that he thought the 
continuance of the connection absolutely essential to the 
peaceful growth of the Colony, and that the politico-economic 
view of the matter, if carried into action, would be as injurious 
to them as it would be degrading and dishonourable to 
England. He hoped to see England grow more conscious of 
the value of the colonies to her, and the colonies of the con- 
sequence attaching to them as members of a great empire. 
Their technical relations to each other might adjust themselves 
in different forms as time went on : prudent statesmen did 
not let their conduct be influenced by remote possibilities. 
They looked to the present and the circuit of the visible 
horizon ; and their duty now, in all parts of the empire, was 



THE PREMIER 91 

to draw closer together, and recognise their common interest 
in maintaining their union. 

For this reason he deprecated the language so often lately 
heard from influential Liberal politicians at home. If the 
colonies continued to be told by the press and by platform 
speakers that we did not care about them, and that they might 
leave us when they pleased, and if official communications 
continued cold and indifferent, indifference might produce in- 
difference. A separatist tendency, which had as yet no exist- 
ence, would grow up. The links might be broken in a fit of 
irritation and impatience, and once gone could never be 
mended. They resented knowing that they were as English 
as ourselves being treated by English ministers as if they 
were strangers accidentally connected with us, as if blood and 
natural affection were to go for nothing. 

This may sound sentimental, but the chief part of the 
reality in questions of this kind is sentiment. Family affection 
is sentiment ; friendship is sentiment ; patriotism is senti- 
ment. A nation with whom sentiment is nothing is on the 
way to cease to be a nation at all. I decidedly liked Mr. 
Service : he expressed what I thought myself more clearly 
than I could do, and I considered him, in consequence, a 
sensible man. 

On other subjects, too, he talked well, like a man as much 
accustomed to reflect seriously as if he had been a profound 
philosopher or an Anglican bishop. He, the popular chief of 
a great, modern, progressive, middle-class community, began, 
to my astonishment, to raise a question whether, after all our 
scientific discoveries, our steam-engines and railways and 
newspaper printing-offices and the other triumphs of the 
revolutionary period, mankind were really superior, morally 
and spiritually, to what they had been two thousand years 
ago ; whether, if we were to meet Ulysses or Pericles, Horace 
or Lucian, we should be conscious of any steep inequality in 
our own favour. He argued his point very well indeed, 
brought out all that was to be said on either side, and left the 
conclusion open. 

On the other side of me at the same dinner sat tho Astro- 



9* OCEANA 

nomer- Royal, Mr. Ellery. Not knowing at the moment who 
he was, I could only be agreeably pleased with a gentleman 
evidently so highly cultivated, and wonder whether I was to 
take such a man as a type of Australian society. I was in- 
troduced to him afterwards. He graciously invited me to 
visit the Observatory, and the next morning Lady Loch, Lord 
E , I, and two or three more, walked across. The instru- 
ments were said to be specially worth seeing a magnificent 
reflecting telescope, and several others, with all the latest 
inventions. 

The Observatory was but a quarter of a mile distant, but 
in the forenoon, and under a Victorian sun, we had a mauvai$ 
quart cPhevvre in getting there. On the way, amidst some 
coarse grass, I beheld a scarlet pimpernel, the veritable ' poor 
man's weatherglass' of northern Europe, basking wide open 
in the rays. If I had been studying the language of the New 
Hebrides, and had found imbedded in it a Greek verb, perfect 
in all its inflexions, I could not have been more surprised. 
How in the wide world came a highly organised plant of this 
kind to be growing wild in Australia ? Had the seed been 
brought by some ship's crew, or in a bird's stomach, or been 
wafted over in the chambers of the airf To what far-off 
connection did it point of Australia with the old world t I 
gathered my marvel, and carried it to Mr. Ellery to be ex- 
plained. How idly we let our imagination wander ! He 
laughed as he said, ' Many weeds and wild flowers from the 
old country make their first appearance in this garden. Oar 
instruments are sent out packed in hay.' 

I remember Mr. Joseph Hume objecting once to a grant 
in the Budget for an observatory at the Cape. Had we not 
an excellent observatory at Greenwich f and if the globe 
revolved, what use could there be for a second t Had he seen 
what the Melbourne people were willing to do or give to pro- 
mote astronomical science, he would have been shocked at 
their extravagance. They are not going to be left behind in 
any department of things, and have spared neither thought 
nor money. Mr. Ellery showed us all his equipments : his 
great telescope, and his transit instruments, and these were 



THE OBSERVATORY 93 

the least of his wonders. In every vacant space, in the pas- 
sages against the walls of the rooms, under the roof, or under 
the sky, there was something strange, of which we had to ask 
an explanation. Gravefaced clocks were turning barrels 
everywhere, round which paper was rolled, and all the proper- 
ties of the atmosphere motion, temperature, density, electri- 
city, &c. were authentically and deliberately writing down 
on these rolls in what degree they were present. A genera- 
tion back a special assistant was required to draw and write 
down each of these things, and he could do it but imperfectly. 
Here they were patiently recording themselves in lines upon 
the paper coils. Most curious of all to me was the breed of 
spiders, which are carefully and separately brought up, fed, 
and protected from contamination with others of their race. 
In transit and other delicate observations, where the period at 
which a star passes this point or that must be noted to the 
fraction of a second, the inner surface of the glasses used is 
crossed by minute lines, dividing it into squares, to assist in 
measuring the precise rate of movement across the field. For 
these lines no thread is tine enough which man can manufac- 
ture. Spider web is used, and not even this as the spider leaves 
it : for the spider makes a rope, and it is the strands of the 
rope, when untwisted, which alone will answer. The common 
spider's thread, such as we see him stretch from point to point 
on a bush, is a rope of eight strands, the untwisting of which 
to human fingers is a difficult operation. But a variety has 
been found at Melbourne whose thread has only three strands, 
and the precious creatures are among the Observatory's rarest 
treasures. Looking at all this elaborate apparatus, I said it 
made me wonder the more at the old Alexandrians, who, with 
their imperfect instruments, had discovered the precession o! 
the equinoxes. ' Yes,' Mr. Eliery answered, ' and the best 
work now is being done by men who have imperfect instru- 
ments. It is the eye of the observer, and not the telescope, 
which makes the difference.' Some day, I suppose, all human 
necessities will be supplied by mechanical demons ; but I 
doubt whether man himself will be much the better for it. 
Aladdin remained a poor creature for all his genii. 



94 OCEANA 

In the afternoon Lady Loch took me to the park to hear 
the band play, and to see the rank, beauty, and fashion of 
Victoria. In the hot weather the rank, beauty, and fashion 
migrate to cooler quarters at Hobart Town, so the show was 
not impressive ; even the horses disappointed me after what I 
had heard of the Australian breed. Here and there I saw a 
handsome carriage, with smart appointments, and well-dressed 
ladies in it ; but horses, riders, phaetons, curricles, tandems, 
were of a scratch description, and the scene was gipsy-like 
and scrambling, like what one sees at an English country 
racecourse. 

We drove afterwards round the environs of Melbourne, 
among endless suburban residences, like ours at Wimbledon, 
in fair modern taste, and all indicating a carelessness of cost. 
A sense of beauty, however, everywhere indicated itself in 
the gardens, in striking contrast with the United States, 
where the ordinary suburban house rises bare in the midst of 
indifferently kept grass, and even the palaces of the million- 
aires stand in ground poorly laid out. In Melbourne, and in 
these colonies universally, there seemed a desire among the 
owners to surround themselves with graceful objects, and 
especially with the familiar features of their old home oaks, 
maples, elms, firs, planes, and apple-trees. Almost every one 
of our trees, except the oak, grows easily and luxuriantly. 

Other English organisations are also reproducing them- 
selves, of a kind which some philosophers regard as the rank 
growth of European civilisation, to be made war against and 
extirpated. They appear, however, to be natural productions, 
natural in new countries as well as in old. A landed gentry 
is springing up in Victoria, with all its established charac- 
teristics. Sir , a baronet with 160,OOOJ. a year and an 

estate as large as Dorsetshire, called afterwards at Govern- 
ment House a distinguished highbred-looking man, who 
invited us to a cruise in his yacht, and kindly pressed me to 
pay him a visit at his country house, see his picture gallery, 
<tc. There is room in Australia for all orders and degrees of 

men. I travelled afterwards through Sir ' property. 

His ' tenants ' spoke favourably of him, and had no wish tc 



PROPOSED TOUR IN THE COLONY 95 

change their occupancy into ownership. Mr. George and 
socialistic despotism will find no audience in these colonies. 
Perhaps before long they will lose their audience at home. 

At dinner, the same evening, I met, with very great 
pleasure, a son of Edward Irving's : long Professor, and now, 
I believe, Rector of Melbourne University. His face re- 
minded me of his father's : there were the same finely-cut 
features, the same eager, noble, and generous expression ; but 
he was calmer and quieter. Enthusiasm had become tempered 
down into rational and practical energy. He was educated at 
Balliol, and highly distinguished himself. He was among the 
first men of his year, and would have succeeded, as a matter 
of course, to a fellowship, but for the religious tests which 
were then unrepealed. Perhaps I do not know, it is but my 
awn conjecture he might have conformed to those tests if he 
had followed his personal convictions. He was, and is, entirely 
orthodox, and had no agnostic tendencies, like some of his 
contemporaries ; but, with a fine filial piety, he would not 
separate himself from his father's Catholic and Apostolic 
Church. His career at home was obstructed ; he emigrated 
to Australia many years ago, and few men have done better 
service to the land of their adoption. The spiritual interests 
of the colonies have thriven upon English exclusiveness. It 
was peculiarly agreeable to me to meet him. I had seen his 
father once, I had heard him preach, and the impression had 
never left me. 

I We had been already presented with free passes on the 
Victorian railways, the Government being anxious to give us 
all facilities in their power to learn what was going on in the 
Colony ; but, as if this was not enough, they were still more 
exceptionally generous. Mr. Gillies, a member of the Cabinet, 
proposed, in the name of his colleagues, to conduct us himself 
over their principal wonders, show us the country, the gold 
mines, the farms, the vineyards, the scenery. They wished us 
to see things ; they wished, with most kind consideration, to 
spare me, as an old man, the fatigue of ordinary travelling. 
A special train therefore was to be provided with the luxuries 
of a drawing-room car. There were to be carriages at the 



96 OCEANA 

stations for us, rooms at the best hotels, <kc., and all this waa 
to cost us nothing. We were to look on ourselves as the 
guests of the Colony, and as a companion we were to have one 
of the best informed and ablest of its public servants. The eom- 

pliment was partly to me, but a good deal more to Lord E , 

with whom we were grouped into a party. My son was" to 
go with us, and as a fourth we were to have the charming and 
accomplished Mr. Way, Chief Justice of South Australia, who 
happened to be at Melbourne on a visit. Notice had to be sent 
to Ballarat and to the other places to which we were to go, 
and the arrangements required a few days' preparation. The 
interval was spent on the chief sights of the city, libraries, 
galleries, museums, public halls, and such like. To make a 
profitable use of such a study requires a special organisation, 
which in my case has been left out. My senses lose their per- 
ception when many objects of many kinds are thrust upon 
them one after the other. It is like flying through a country 
on a railway, or tasting successively a number of different 
wines. The palate loses its power of distinction, and one 
flavour is like another.^ I can spend a day over a single case 
in a museum : one picture at a time is as much as I can 
attend to. A day spent in walking from room to room, 
from books to paintings, from paintings to sculpture, from 
sculpture to crystals and minerals and stuffed birds and 
beasts, leaves me bewildered. I remember once taking a 
poor lady over the British Museum. She would see every- 
thing : printed books and MSS., engravings and illuminated 
missals, beetles and butterflies, ichthyosauri and iguanodons, 
Greek and Roman statues, Egyptian gods and mummies, 
Assyrian kings on the alabaster tablets. It was over at last ; 
we passed out between the great winged bulls from Nineveh. 
She observed to me, ' Those, I presume, are antediluvian.' I 
was reduced to the same state of mind after being taken 
through the Melbourne treasures, and I can give no rational 
account of them, save that they were abundant and varied, 
and had been collected regardless of expense ; that the 
managers were full of knowledge, and were most polite in 
communicating it. 



MELbOVRNE AMUSEMENTS 97 

More intelligible to me wag the magnificent Concert Hall, 
'large as the Free Trade Hall at Manchester, but constructed 
less for public speaking than for music. The organ, which was 
built at Melbourne, is one of the finest in existence. The 
organist, who is worthy of his instrument, plays in the after- 
noon two or three times a week, and workmen, workmen's 
wives and children, ladies, gentlemen, all sorts and conditions, 
call indiscriminately to listen. Our own visit was out of 
hours. For a time we had the hall to ourselves, and the 
organist let us choose whatever we wished to hear. I have 
rarely heard any organ-playing more severely grand. 

There are amusements, however, suited to all tastes. There 
was a theatre, of course, and the Governor and his suite were 
invited to a special performance. We had an operatic panto- 
mime, much like other pantomimes, and a troop of ballet-girls 
with the usual indecent absence of costume. Poor things ! I 
was sorry to see them in this new land of promise, and I 
wished them a better occupation. The audience was English 
to the heart. There were the English cat-calls from the 
gallery, the English delight in animal fun which can be under- 
stood without an effort. Two monsters pulling each other's 
noses in the background, while the chief actors in the play 
were discoursing in front of the stage, brought down the house. 
Clown and harlequin tumbled over pantaloon, knocked down 
the policeman, robbed the shops, jumped in and out of windows 
all in the approved style. Satisfaction turned to exuberant 
delight when one or the other was thrown on his back. It 
was English without a difference ; no other people in the world 
have the same enjoyment of rough-and-tumble joking. Some 
improvised singing, with allusions to local politics, was good 
natured and well received. The Governor came in for hia 
share of wit- pellets, and laughed as loud as anyone. I 
observed him while it was going on, and something in his look 

reminded me, I know not why, of the late Lord L< , with 

the difference of expression due to a life spent in chivalrous 

work instead of a life of idleness. Lord L , the more 

highly gifted of the two perhaps, being born in the purple, 
lounged through his existence, shot deer, won notoriety in fast 

H 



98 OCEANA 

London society, wote a few lyrics to show the genial that had 
been wasted upon him, and died mad. Sir Henry, more happy 
than he ; n being without the things which most men covet, 
not being able to do as he liked and being forced to work, will 
leave a noble name behind him, and will not die mad. 

On Sunday we walked across the public gardens, a mile 
and a half, to church. It was a church of the most modern 
English type, ornamental, ritualistic, chorister boys in sur- 
plices corresponding to the home pattern as closely as the 
young ladies at the theatre, an intoned liturgy and a some- 
what ambitious sermon on the English race and its destinies. 
We were to regard ourselves as the salt of the earth as a 
nation chosen above all the rest to represent the spirit of 
Christ. It was good to tell us to exhibit Christ's spirit ; but 
was flattering our vanity the best way to bring us to it t 
There was once a sternness in the English character, a hatred 
of insincerities and half -sincerities, a contempt for humbug of 
all sorts and degrees. Where is it now I Extinct 1 or only 
Bleeping and by-and-by to waket On returning we found 
letters Ac. from home which were a singular comment on the 
address to which we had been listening. Thny brought news 
of the dynamite explosions in the Tower and in the Houses of 
Parliament, another response, I suppose, to the intimation 
that the ClerkenweH business had brought the wrongs of 
Ireland within the range of practical politics. There will 
now, I suppose, be another dose of remedial legislation. Truly 
it has been a notable medicine for Irish disaffection to destroy 
the only part of the population there whose loyalty can be 
depended upon like feeding a man who has delirium tremen* 
with fresh draughts of the 'water of life.' 1, for my own 
part, believe that the old English character is only sleeping, 
and will rouse itself up at last to see the meaning of all that. 

The day after, I spent in wandering alone about Melbourne. 
I went into the handsome public library, which was fairly 
filled with readers. They were studying, I was told, book* 
of solid worth It might be so ; but I saw a curious spectacle 
afterwards. In one of the principal streets there was a large 
archway leading into a kind of arcade, over which was written, 



NIGHT AT THE OBSERVATORY 99 

in large letters, the Book Pavilion. It was divided into 
sections. The first and most important was a roomy saloon 
with shelves all round and a table in the middle, shelves and 
table being completely filled and covered with thousands of 
the cheap editions of modern novels and magazines, the backg 
of them shining with illustrations of human life as depicted 
in the pages inside: despairing lovers at the feet of their 
mistresses, corsairs, brigands, forgers, midnight murderers. 
What a business our ' life ' would be if these were a real 
representation of it. There were French and German novels 
in translations, English novels in the vernacular tongue, in 
their yellow and pink bindings; and over them and about 
them were crowds literally crowds of children ; those who 
could possess themselves of the precious volumes swallowing 
them as if they contained a message of salvation; the less 
fortunate devouring the pictures, exactly like so many flies 
round the poisoned tartlets in a pastrycook's shop. In the 
rooms beyond were a few units of readers, looking into or at 
graver works, arranged under heads, ' Science,' ' Divinity,' <fec. 
In the books of divinity there was strict impartiality : 
Bishop Butler stood peaceably by the side of Renan, and 
Canon Farrar's ' Life of Christ ' beside Strauss's ' Leben Jesu, 1 
One could not but feel misgivings for the state of spiritual 
digestion in the innocent, eager creatures turned out to browse 
in such a pasture. But it was typical of our present condition, 
and is worse perhaps, after all, at home than in the colonies. 
If this is what comes of sending everybody to school, would 
not our boys and girls be better employed as apprentice* * 
learning useful trades and handicrafts ? 

The last evening before we started on our expedition wai 
given to the Observatory again. Mr. Ellery had promised to 
show us some of the Southern stars. The ' cross ' had been 
familiar to us ever since we passed the line. To the eye it is 
disappointing, the notable feature about it being the black 
chasm I spoke of: but Mr. Ellerv showed us, through a 
strong refracting telescope, the beautiful cluster in the middle 
of it called ' the Gems.' We saw Saturn well, and Sirius like 
* brilliant electric light. I had been once shown a blue star, 

B a 



loo OCEANA 

and wished to renew my acquaintance with it. I had to 
learn that there were no really blue stars, and the colour had 
been due to an imperfectly achromatic lens a type perhaps 
of some other celestial truths of which we fancy ourselves 
perfectly certain. 

The night was unfortunately windy and misty, and Mr. 
Ellery himself was, after all, the most interesting object in 
the exhibition. I had some further talk with him, and wished 
it had been more. He considered that the drag on the earth's 
rotation from the tidal wave was far from proved. The fact 
of the retardation, to begin with, was only conjecture, and if 
the tidal wave had a retarding action, it might be corrected 
by other influences unknown to us. I did not venture to 
propound my own wave theory about it. I asked him about 
the sub-tropical plants lately discovered in coal-measures in 
latitude 83 north, and how such plants could have grown when 
they were half the year in darkness. He seemed to think 
that there must have been some great difference, greater far 
than our present knowledge can explain, in the inclination of 
the earth's axis. I read, since my return, in a French scientific 
journal, an assertion that the earth's axis had at one time been 
at right angles to the ecliptic, that it had slowly inclined, as 
we see a spinning top incline, till it had reached an angle of 
45 or more, and was now half-way back to the perpendicular. 
This, if true, would explain all the changes of climate which 
the north part of Europe has evidently passed through from 
tropical heat to the cold of the glacier epoch. It would 
explain the plants in those coal-measures. It would explain 
everything, if true. But is it true t How many times must 
we outsiders learn up our science, and then unlearn it t Each 
new generation of philosophers laughs at the conclusions of its 
predecessors. 



EXPEDITION INTO THE INTERIOR 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Expedition into the interior of the Colony Mr. Gillies Special train Ap- 
proaches to Ballarat The rabbit plague A squatter's station Ercildoun 
and its inhabitants Ballarat Gold-mining Australian farms A cottage 
garden Lake and park Fish and flower culture Municipal hospitality. 

WHO has not heard of Ballarat, the Eldorado of forty years 
ago 1 the diggings where adventurers from all parts of the 
world flew upon the soil with their picks and shovels, some 
to light on nuggets which made them into millionaires, some 
to toil for months unrewarded, yet toiling on as if possessed 
by a demon ! Ballarat was then an arid treeless hollow lying 
between low hills, with a scanty brook trickling down the 
middle of it. Valley and hillside were then dotted over with 
tiny tents. Each tent held its two mates, for they worked in 
pairs always ; and altogether there were collected in that spot 
tens of thousands of human beings, flinging up soil and sand- 
heaps like the Bactrian ants of Herodotus, the bushrangers 
watching in the forest to waylay the gold on its way down to 
the sea. There is not a yard of earth where Ballarat now 
stands which has not, within the memory of many of us, been 
dug over and passed through the sieve. It is now the second 
city in Victoria, a prosperous town with 40,000 inhabitants, 
created in the wilderness as if by Aladdin's lamp. Ballarat 
and the Ballarat district was our first destination. I disliked 
the notion of it, expecting to find merely an unlovely spectacle 
of insatiable hunger for gold. In this, as in many other things, 
I was to find myself mistaken. 

Mr. Gillies was waiting for us at the station, wit,h Chief 
Justice Way. We were conducted to a superlative carriage 
lined with blue satin, with softest sofas, cushions, armchairs, 
tables to be raised or let down at pleasure. A butler was in 
attendance in a separate compartment, with provision-baskets, 
wine, fruit, iced water, and all other luxuries and conveniences. 
Thus accommodated we shot out of Melbourne, and for the 
first fifty miles were carried along the shores of the great inlet 
of Port Phillip. The soil was bare and little cultivated 



103 OCEANA 

generally unoccupied and uninteresting. I was struck indeed 
with the extent and solidity of the inclosures strong railings 
of eucalyptus wood but there was little apparently to inclose 
except a few cattle. All was changed as we entered the hills. 
Here the land had oncj been densely wooded. The trees in 
many places had been cleared off. Along with the railings we 
found thick -set hedges of thorn and gorse ; we passed pretty 
farmhouses with solid outbuildings, cornfields, and potato-fields, 
cottages with their plots of vegetable grounds, park-like 
pastures, cows and sheep abundantly scattered over them, 
signs everywhere of vigorous and successful industry. At 
intervals the ' bush ' remained untouched, but the universal 
eucalyptus, which I had expected to find grey and monotonous, 
was a Proteus in shape and colour, now branching like an oak 
or a cork-tree, now feathered like a birch, or glowing like an 
arbutus, with an endless variety of hue green, orange, and 
brown. The ground where it had been turned by the plough 
was dark and rich. It was harvest time. The corn-shocks 
were standing English fashion, red and yellow, out of the 
stubble, or were being carted away and raised into stacks. On 
the low meadows there was hay. The dark-leaved potatoes, 
untouched by blight, were in full blossom. It seemed incredible 
that I was in a new country ; that within half my own life all 
this had been a wilderness. Every moment I thought of 
Midas Midas reversed not wholesome things turned to gold, 
but gold transmuted into earth's choicest treasures. 

We were ascending an incline, and had risen at least 1,500 
feet. The air became perceptibly cooler, the fertility more and 
more conspicuous. After reaching the highest point we ran 
along through an undulating country, chiefly pastures, with 
large trees left standing. There was no undergrowth, no 
rocks or stones, only green fresh grass on which sheep were 
grazing. Here, for the first time, I saw the meaning of the 
rabbit plague which has so troubled Australia. Some years 
ago an enthusiastic gentleman, wishing to reproduce there all 
the features of his home life, introduced a few couples of 
rabbits. They have multiplied enormously injure the fanners' 
young crops, and have become a general nuisance. The Vic 



APPROACH TO BALLARAT 103 

toriane perhaps exaggerate the mischief yet done. They are 
so angry at Melbourne, I wag told, that they will no longer 
eat rabbits, regarding them as vermin, like rats. Mr. Gillies 
had checked my satisfaction at seeing the gorse fences by 
denouncing them as a harbour for the enemy. Had their 
numbers been so vast as has been alleged, had they really been 
eating the sheep off the pastures, I must and should have seen 
more of them than I did see. In an open glade of the forest a 
few miles from Ballarat, there were, perhaps, a hundred of 
them playing about, a third of these, by the by, being black. 
One might see as many, however, on a summer evening outside 
any wood in England where game is preserved. I suppose the 
Australian farmers want the traditionary reverence for the 
ferce naturae which are bred for sport. 

As we approached Ballarat we left the forest and came 
among plantations. As the town began to rise, they planted 
pinus insignia, eucalyptus, magnolia, Moreton-bay fig-trees 
in all directions and in all convenient places. As the houses 
grew, the trees grew which were to shade them. A few 
years in Australia will raise a tree to a size which it will 
hardly reach in ten times as many years in our islands. They 
were everywhere in yards and courts, in streets and squares. 
They out-topped the chimneys, and in spite of the common- 
place architscture no better at Ballarat than at most other 
places they gave it an air of grace and even of beauty, as 
unlooked for as it was agreeable. There were, of course, the 
inevitable engine-works, great heaps of rubble and cinder, high 
scaffoldings of mine- works, with wheels revolving, and the 
black arms of the cranks rising and falling. Mining is still 
the principal industry of the place. The surface diggings have 
been long exhausted ; but the quartz rock, of which the hills 
are chiefly made, is charged with gold. The rock is quarried 
and crushed, and the gold is washed out of the gravel. This 
is not, however, the only industry. The city of Midas is a 
great agricultural centre, and is growing more and more so. 

Gold-mining still pays its way. The annual yield of the 
Victorian mines is from four to five millions, and the cost of 
producing it about as much. This implies a great many people 



K>4 OCEANA 

earning high wages, the local trade and business pA>8pering, 
and thousands of families maintained in comfort ; but other 
occupations are spreading by the side of it, and changing the 
character of Ballarat externally and internally. 

We had left Melbourne early and it was not yet noon. 
We were to sleep at Ballarat, but were not immediately to 
stop there ; we were engaged to a luncheon party at a squatter's 
station, twenty miles beyond, from which we were to return in 
the evening. We have , all heard of squatters' stations. We 
imagine (at least I did) a wild tract of forest, a great pastoral 
range ; a wooden hut run up in the middle of it ; men, dogs, 
horses, cattle, semi-savage all ; bushrangers perhaps skulking 
not far off; the native and naked blacks of the soil retiring 
slowly before advancing civilisation and hovering on the white 
man's skirts ; and for the rest the rude hospitality of nomad 
settlers amid a life like that of the ancient Scythians. This is 
what I looked for when I was told that I was to be taken to 
a squatter's station, and the reality was again unlike the 
anticipation. 

The train stopped at a solitary halting-place in the midrt 
of a desolate expanse of rolling ground, a large lake in the 
distance with barren shores, and something like a village in 
the extreme distance. Roads led out straight in several direc- 
tions, all at right angles with one another, for the country has 
been laid out in surveyors' offices as the Roman provinces 
probably were, and the highways run direct from point to point 
with small regard to local convenience^ A carriage was wait- 
ing for us ; we drove in a cold wind (for we were still 1,500 
feet above the sea) along one of these lines passable enough in 
dry weather, and fenced in by stout posts and rails for some 
twelve miles. The scene had gradually become less dreary. 
Trees became more frequent and there were stubbles where 
crops had been reaped. We came at last to a gate, which 
needed only a lodge to be like the entrance to a great English 
domain. 

The park-like character wag more marked when we drove 
through short grass, eucalyptus trees, and black wood treea 
scattered over it like the oaks at Richmond ; the eucalypti, 



ERCILDOUN 105 

ancient and venerable, with huge twisted trunks and spreading 
branches, being exactly like oaks at a distance, while the dark 
green blackwoods glowing picturesque between them might 
have passed for yews. Sheep were browsing in hundreds, 
perhaps in thousands, and on a wooded ridge which was behind 
I was told that there were deer. 

The only exotic features were the parrots, small and large, 
which were flying like cuckoos from one tree to another, flash- 
ing with blue and crimson. 

After passing a second gate we found more variety. 
There were plantations which had been skilfully made. 
English trees were mixed with the indigenous, eucalypti still 
preponderating however, some towering into the sky, some, as 
before, fantastically gnarled ; here and there a dead one 
stretching up its gaunt arms as perches for the hawks and 
crows. High hills stood out all round us, covered with forest. 
The drive was broad, level, and excellently kept. The planta- 
tion gradually became thicker. A third gate and we were 
between high trimmed hedges of evergreen, catching a sight 
at intervals of a sheet of water overhung with weeping 
willows ; a moment more, and we were at the door of what 
might have been an ancient Scotch manor house, solidly built 
of rough-hewn granite, the walls overrun with ivy, climbing 
roses, and other multitudinous creepers, which formed a 
border to the diamond-paned, old-fashioned windows. On the 
north side was a clean-mown and carefully-watered lawn, with 
tennis-ground and croquet-ground, flower-beds bright with 
scarlet geraniums, heliotropes, verbenas, fuchsias we had 
arrived, in fact, at an English aristocrat's country house 
reproduced in another hemisphere, and shone upon at night by 
other constellations. Inside, the illusion was even more com- 
plete. The estate belonged to a millionaire who resided in 
England. Ercildoun, so the place was called, was occupied by 
his friends. We found a high-bred English family English 
in everything except that they were Australian-born, and cul- 
tivated perhaps above the English average bright young 
ladies, well, but not over-dressed ; their tall, handsome 
brother ; our host, their father, polite, gracious, dignified ; 



io6 OCEANA 

our hostess with the ease of a grande dame. Two young 
English lords on their travels were paying a visit there, who 
had been up the country kangaroo-shooting. Good pictures 
hung round the rooms. Books, reviews, newspapers all 
English and ' the latest publications ' were strewed about 
the tables the ' Saturday,' the ' Spectator,' and the rest of 
them. The contrast between the scene which I had expected 
and the scene which I found took my breath away. 

We had luncheon, and went afterwards for a walk. 
Skirting the lake, and following the stream which fed it, we 
ascended a highland glen, amidst antique trees, great granite 
crags, and banks of luxuriant fern. The stream was divided 
into ponds, where trout were bred. Cascades fell from one 
pond to another not too full of water at that season with 
rockeries and gravel walks. A strange black fish-hawk rose 
from a pool where he had been feeding. Parrots flashed and 
glittered. Alas ! there was no laughing jackass. I wished 
for him, but he was not there. The rest was perfect, but so 
strange that I could hardly believe it was not a dream. Some 
of the party had guns. The Australians have a mania for 
rabbit-killing, and shoot them in season and out. A few were 
knocked over, and were left lying were they fell. The only 
game brought home was a kangaroo- rat, as large as a full- 
sized hare, and for which it had been mistaken. 

It was a day to be remembered, and a scene to be remem- 
bered. Here was not England only, but old-fashioned baronial 
England, renewing itself spontaneously in a land of gold and 
diggers, a land which in my own recollection was a convict 
drain, which we have regarded since as a refuge for the waifs 
and strays of our superfluous population for whom we can find 
no use at home. These were the people whom our proud 
legislature thought scarcely to be worth the trouble of preserv- 
ing as our fellow-subjects. It seemed to me as if at no distant 
time the condescension might be on the other side. 

Our stay could be but brief. We were under orders, and 
our minister, who had charge of us, was peremptory. There 
was to be a dinner at Ballarat in the evening, where we were 
to meet the leading citizens. We had twenty miles to go, and 



BALLARAT 107 

we were to drive the whole distance, as there was more to be 
seen off the line of the railway. I for one left Ercildoun with 
a feeling that I would gladly have remained a little longer 
among such pleasant friends and such charming surroundings ; 
reflecting, too, how this particular form of life, which radical 
politicians denounce as an artificial product of a disordered 
society, is the free growth of the English nation, and springs 
up of itself wherever Englishmen are found. Let me also 
mention that the eldest son of this luxurious family had, till 
within a month or two, been herding cattle in Queensland, 
doing the work for four years of the roughest emigrant field 
hand, yet had retained the manners of the finest of fine 
gentlemen tall, spare-loined, agile as a deer, and with a face 
which might have belonged to Sir Launcelot. I have ungrate- 
fully forgotten his name, and even the name of the family. 
It was the type which struck me. 

{ Three hours of driving brought us back to Ballarat, and 
to our rooms and our banquet at the hotel. The evening had 
been chilly as in an English May. The changes of temperature 
in these highlands are trying. Mr. Gillies proved a most 
agreeable companion. He entertained us with stories of the 
political adventures of the Colony since the establishment of 
responsible government, in many of which he had himself 
borne his part. Government by parties is an historical growth 
of English development due to causes peculiar to ourselves. 
The meaning of it has been the orderly transition from one 
state of civilisation to another ; and now that the transition 
has been accomplished, and party lines no longer correspond 
to natural lines, it has become doubtful whether, even among 
ourselves, it works with perfect success. Every wise English 
politician is both Radical and Conservative. He has two eyes 
to see with and two hands to work with, and to condemn him 
to be one or the other is to put one eye out and to tie one 
hand behind his back. To colonies where it has no natural 
appropriateness at all, where party is purely artificial, and 
party politics therefore are not a contest of principles but a 
contest of intrigues, only an English conviction that what is 
good for ourselves must be good for all mankind could have 



108 OCEANA 

induced us to think of applying it. General good sense haa 
happily neutralised in a great degree the anomalies of the 
system. When the moral health is sound, the political health 
cannot be seriously disordered. 

The morning and evening were but one day, since we left 
Melbourne. If time is measured by sequence of impression* 
it had been far the longest in my life. We were hardly equal 
to the dinner in which it was to end. But our Ballarat friends 
were very good. They talked to us instead of expecting us to 
talk to them, and soon left us to rest in the sumptuous 
quarters which had been provided for us. 

/ The day following was to be given to gold mines. The 
surface diggings, as I said, are exhausted, for the present, 
everywhere, and at Ballarat there were no longer any alluvial 
diggings whatever. The gold now raised there was entirely 
from the quartz rock. But there were deep alluvial mines 
worked by companies and machinery some twenty miles off. 
It was in these only that the large nuggets were found, and 
we were to be taken to see one of the richest of them, which 
had been lately opened. The weather had become hot again. 
The roads in dry weather are six inches deep in dust. But 
we were to go ; our entertainers were our masters, and indeed 
we were all glad to go. The mine itself was a thing to be seen 
once at any rate. 

We were started after an early breakfast. Our way led 
through primitive forest, through farms in all stages of pro- 
gress, through towns so called, but plots of ground rather, in- 
tending by-and-by to be towns. At these places a visit from 
a Cabinet Minister was as a visit from an Olympian god. 
Notice of our coming must have been sent forward. Wher- 
ever we stopped to change horses groups of gentlemen were 
waiting, with preparations of fruit and champagne ; we might 
have floated in champagne, they were so liberal to us. The 
country was tolerably level, but at intervals were singular 
circular hills, rounded off at the top, like sections of oranges 
which have been cut in two in the middle. These hills were 
five or six hundred feet high, and perhaps a mile in circum- 
ference. Whetbsr they had a rock base or were merely earth- 



GOLD-MINING log 

heaps, I could not learn, but the soil on them was extremely 
rich, as we could see from the colour of the furrows and the 
care with which they were cultivated. Before arriving at the 
mine we passed through a location of Chinese, whose business 
it was to raise vegetables for the workmen, and wash their 
clothes. Very good, useful people, as far as I could learn, 
and as I afterwards found them to be when I fell in with them. 
We came at last to the foot of a steep hill, rising out of a 
valley which was crowned by a high aqueduct. The aqueduct 
brought water to the mine-shaft, which we saw above us on 
the hillside, with great wheels, platform, chimneys, and mis- 
cellaneous buildings. The horses took us up with difficulty. 
We alighted dust-powdered at the office, cleaned ourselves, 
and were then conducted to the workings. When a vein of 
alluvial gold has been once struck, an experienced eye can tell, 
by the lie of the ground, the direction in which it will run. 
It flows like an underground stream, following laws of its 
own, which the miners have generally made out. Sometimes 
they make a mistake, and fortunes are staked and lost in sink- 
ing shafts in vain. In this happy instance they had struck 
not only into the gold vein, but into some deep pockets in it, 
and the shareholders were dividing splendid profits. The shaft 
was 700 feet deep, from the bottom of which the auriferous 
gravel was brought up by the wheel to a platform where the 
buckets were emptied into trucks. The trucks are sent along 
a rail to the washing troughs. There a rush of water is let 
loose upon the dirt-heap, violent enough, it would seem, to 
sweep everything before it, but it only sweeps away the stones 
and gravel. The gold, from its great weight, sinks to the 
bottom and there remains. We saw two or three cartloads of 
gravel washed, and a hundred and sixty pounds' worth of gold 
taken out of it. The directors gave us each a nugget worth 
a couple of sovereigns as a remembrance. The romance of 
the digging is gone ; the rough independent life, the delight- 
ful trusting to luck, the occasional great prize drawn in the 
lottery ; the long fever of hope generally, but not always, dis- 
appointed. It is now a regular industry. The men have theii 



no OCR AN A 

regular wages twelve and fifteen shillings a day. The capital- 
ists have the risk and, on the whole, neither lose nor gain. 

I had seen the thing, and it was enough. I could not care 
a great deal for it. If they had been making the gold it 
would have been interesting, but they are only finding it ; and 
the finding, when it lost its uncertainties and was reduced to 
averages, had lost its chief human charm. If one was bored, 
however, one was bound to try to conceal it. I was repaid 
for everything on my way home. I felt like Saul, the son of 
Kish, who went to seek his father's asses and found a king- 
dom. We were taken back through what was called ' the 
fertile district ' of Ballar.it. The wheat was gone ; the thick 
stubble only remained to show where it had been ; but oats, 
barley, peas, beans, potatoes were in the fields, and after the 
sight of them I could believe Herodotus's account of the crops 

grown on the plains of Babylon. , who knows what 

agriculture is, and had been all over the world, said that he 
had never seen the like of it. An oat crop was half cut. 
Where the reaping machine had stopped, it was standing like 
a wall so thick that a horse could scarcely have forced a way 
through it, and so clean of weeds that there was nothing like 
one visible. Weeds indeed are said to be a product of high 
civilisation, and not to exist in a state of nature. For seven- 
teen years they have been cropping this land without manuring 
it, and there is no symptom of exhaustion. Each harvest is 

-T , 

as rich as the last. When earth is so Kind, men cannot choose 
but be hagpy. The human occupiers otthese farms live each 
on his own freehold, or, if tenants, with no danger of disturb- 
ance. They have pretty houses, smartly kept and bright with 
paint ; and trellis-vines creep over the verandahed fronts, and 
the slopes or lawns are bright with roses. The orchards round 
them reminded me of the Boers' orchards in the Free State ; 
peaches and apricots, almonds, figs, pears, and apples all 
thriving as if they had taken fresh life in the new land where 
they~found themselves jSand the men and women seemed as 
thriving too, with the courteous manners of independent 
gentlemen and ladies. If English farmers and farm-labourers 
could but see what I saw that day (*nd I am informed that 



WATER-SUPPLY in 

other parts of the colony were as much richer than this as 
this was richer than my own Devonshire) there would be swift 
transfers over the seas of our heavy-laden ' agricultural popu- 
lation.' The landed interest itself gentry and" all will per- 
haps one day migrate en masse to a country where they can 
live in their own way without fear of socialism or graduated 
income-tax, and leave England and English progress to blacken 
in its own smoke. 

Drought is the worst enemy in Australia, but rain falls 
sufficient for all necessities, and only asks to be taken care of. 
In a gorge among some high hills the Ballarat corporation 
have made a reservoir as big as a large lake. The embankment 
across the neck of the valley is a fine piece of engineering 
work, and on <>^t way back we made a circuit to see it. Mr. 
Ruskin complainod of Thirlmere being turned into a tank ; 
Glasgow has laid down pipes to Loch Katrine ; yet Loch 
Katrine's beauty has not been vulgarised, has not been affected 
at all, for the pipes are out of sight. I could never see that 
Ravenscrag would hang less grandly over the lower lake at 
Thirlmere, or the birch sprays float less freely over the becks 
that foam down its glens because the Lancashire millions were 
to be supplied with unpolluted water from it. Here, however, 
there was nothing to spoil. The useful has created the 
beautiful. There is a sheet of water produced by a mere 
desire to prevent Nature's best gift from running to waste, 
which, with the pine-groves planted round its shores, will look 
as well as any other inland lake in future water-colour art 
exhibitions. We stopped for a few minutes at a roadside 
hotel, near the end of the embankment, to rest our horses. It 
was tidily kept and picturesquely situated. The little wicket 
gate was open. I strayed in and found myself in the garden 
of an English cottage, among cabbage-roses, pinks, sweet- 
williams, white phlox, columbines, white lilies and orange, 
syringas, laburnums, lilacs. Beneath the railings were beds 
of violet and periwinkle, and on a wall a monthly rose was 
intertwining with jessamine and honeysuckle. The emigrants 
who had made their home there had brought with them seeds 



1 12 OCEANA 

and cuttings from the old home. They were ' Ringing the 
Lord's song in a strange land.' 

A second dinner party wound up the evening. The leading 
men in Ballarat were brought together to meet us, and we 
were filled with information as freely as with champagne. 
The Australians in one point are agreeably different from our 
cousins west of the Atlantic. The American puts you through 
a catechism of interrogatories. The Australian talks freely, 
but asks few questions, and does not insist on having your 
opinion of him and his institutions a commendable feature in 
him. But he does insist that you shall see what he has to 
show. The ambitious young community does not import its 
rails or engines or machinery. It supplies its own. Next day, 
with a temperature of 90 in the shade, we were taken to the 
workshops and foundries, and were set to roast before the 
furnaces. I bore it, but didn't like it. I had seen other worki 
of the same kind. Thence we went to the town- hall, which, 
though the town is proud of it, is very like other town-halls. 
From the town-hall we went to the ' Mills.' The quartz- 
crushing was at least new, and had a certain clangorous signi- 
ficance. Thirty huge cylinders of steel stood vertically in a 
row, in oiled sockets. A powerful steam engine lifted them 
and let them fall, like hammers of the Cyclops. They were 
fed with quartz blocks from boxes behind each, and the smashed 
particles fell into a trough, as at the alluvial diggings, where a 
rush of water purged away the lighter stone and left the gold 
behiud. 

Deafened by the noise, fainting with the heat, and wearied 
with the endless talk about gold, I made my escape, and was 
taken possession of by a kind Samaritan who had a carriage 
and a pair of horses. He drove me about the town, showed 
me sumptuous-looking palaces, and described the fortunes of 
their owners, the lucky survivors of the race of original 
diggers. Finally, he brought me to the gates of the park, 
where we found the rest of our party assembled. It then 
appeared how skilfully our entertainment had been arranged. 
We had been passed through Purgatory in the morning that 
we might enjoy Paradise afterwards literally Paradise for 



FISH AND FLOWER CULTURE 113 

Paradise means Park, and hero was a park worth the name. 
I have already expressed my admiration of the Australian 
gardens, but this at Ballarat excelled them all. It was as if 
the town council had decided to show what gold and science 
could do with such a soil and climate. The roses which bloom 
ill on the hotter lowlands were here, owing to the height above 
the sea, abundant and beautiful as in Veitch's nurseries at 
midsummer. Besides roses, every flower was there which was 
either fair to look upon or precious for its fragrance. There 
were glass houses to protect the delicate plants in the winter j 
but oranges and camellias, which we know only in conserva- 
tories, grow without fear in the open air, and survive the worst 
cold which Ballarat experiences. A broad gravel walk led up 
the middle of the grounds, with lateral paths all daintily kept. 
Dart shadowy labyrinths conducted us into cool grottoes over- 
hung by tree-ferns, where young lovers could whisper undis- 
turbed, and those who were not lovers could read novels. Such 
variety, such splendour of colour, such sweetness, such grace 
in the distribution of the treasures collected there, I had 
never found combined before, and never shall find again. Even 
this lovely place had its drawbacks. There were snakes there, 
and bad ones, though I did not see any. I did, however, see 
an enemy whom the gardeners hate worse than snakes. I was 
stooping to examine a bed of carnations, when a large buck 
rabb.ii jumped out of the middle of it. No fence will keep 
them out. If they cannot fly over it they will burrow under 
like moles, and nothing is safe from them. 

The wonders of the Park, however, were not exhausted. 
Following a winding path through a thicket, we came on a 
stream of water, not very clear, which ran into and filled a 
pond. This, I was informed, was a breeding-place for trout. 
As the pond in question was of the colour and consistency of 
a duck-pond in an English farm-yard, all the marvels which 
we had witnessed could not prevent ua from being sceptical 
about the trout. No form of Salmonidse known in Europe 
could live five minutes in such a hot, filthy puddle. But the 
Salmoiiida? must change their nature in the antipodes. To 
satisfy our doubts a net was drawn through the water, and 

I 



114 OCR AN A 

everal hundred fish the size of minnows were brought out 
fat, and in perfect health, with the pink spots upon them un- 
mistakable trout Nor was the destination of them much less 
curious. The stream led on to a broad green meadow shaded 
by the large weeping willows which I have already spoken of 
as so fine and so common great trees with trunks three feet 
in diameter. The meadow bordered upon an artificial lake 
four times the size of the Serpentine, and supplied with water 
from the reservoirs in the hills. 

The park and the lake are the recreation-ground of the 
youth of Ballarat. In the meadow the children were playing 
in hundreds, looked after by the nursery maids, while the 
elders sat on the benches in the shade. Well-dressed ladies 
lounged up and down, while barges, bright with flags and 
ladies' parasols, were passing along the shore. Here the lads 
have their boat-races. Dandy little yachts of eight and ten 
tons, like those at Windermere, lay at anchor, to enter for the 
cup on regatta days. Across the lake is the shortest cut to 
the city, and steam launches, with awnings spread and music 
playing, ferried their human freight backwards and forwards. 
Wild swans, wild ducks, large coots with crimson heads, which 
found shelter in the reed-beds, rose trumpeting or crying, sailed 
round and settled down again. The water has been stocked 
with fish : perch, roach, and trout. Those which we had just 
seen were to be turned in. For some reason, I know not 
what, they thrive in an extraordinary way. I saw a trout of 
twelve pounds' weight which had been lately taken out. The 
citizens have free leave to fish, subject to certain conditions. 
I forget how many tons were taken out last year, chiefly 
perch, which are also of unusual size. Certainly this was a 
singular thing to have been created in the middle of a desert. 

While we were admiring, a steam launch came for us to 
the landing pier. The head gardener, who had accompanied 
us to the water, presented us each with a bouquet of exotics, 
the like of which could hardly be put together at Row or 
Chiswick. The engineer blew his whistle ; we stepped on 
board, and were carried across in time for a luncheon at tha 
mayoralty We . made our acknowledgments for the hearty 



MUNICIPAL HOSPITALITY 115 

and kind hospitality which we had met with ; and thus closed 
our stay in the Golden City, which we left with admiration 
and regret. On the whole Ballarat had surprised and charmed 
me. There may be, there doubtless are, aspects of colonial life 
less agreeable than those which I have described. Most of the 
sight-seeing, most of the champagne, might very well have 
been dispensed with. But the people had but one wish to 
make us feel, wherever we went, that we were among our own 
kinsmen. Personally I was grateful to them for their kind- 
ness. As an Englishman I was proud of what they had 
accomplished within the brief limit of half my own years. 
Of their energy, and of what it had achieved, there can be no 
question, for the city and its surroundings speak for them- 
selves. People have written to me to say that we were pur- 
posely shown the bright side of things, that we let ourselves be 
flattered, be deluded, kc. Very likely ! There was mud aa 
well as gold, in the alluvial mines. The manager pointed out 
the gold to us and left the mud unpointed out. The question 
was not of the mud at all, but of the quality and quantity of 
the gold. All things have their seamy aspects. If there is 
gold, and much of it, that is the chief point. The mud may 
be taken for granted. But for myself I can relate only what 
I myself saw, and the impression which it made upon me. 
Readers may make such deductions as they please. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Bendigo Sandhurst Descent into a gold mine Hospitalities Desire foi 
confederation Mount Macedon Summer residence of the Governor 
Sir George Verdon St. Hubert's Wine-growing Extreme heat Mr. 
Castella Expedition to Fernshaw Gigantic trees A picnic A forest fire 
Return to Melbourne. 

BALLARAT is not the only gold-centre. We all remember to 
have heard of Bendigo, or the New Rush. Bendigo is mm 
the town of Sandhurst, a thousand feet below Ballarat, a 
hundred miles from it on the interior watershed where the 

ll 



n6 OCEAN A 

streams run towards the Murray. To Sandhurst we were 
next to go. After the Ballarat luncheon the special train 
received us again. It was a hot afternoon, which grew hotter 
as we descended. The surface of the country through which 
we travelled had been scratched and scored by the old diggers ; 
pits, holes, long trenches, with broken wheels and timberwork, 
indicating where the departed ant-swarms had been busy. All 
this is over now ; ' companies ' have been taking the mining 
business everywhere into their own hands, some splendidly 
successful, some falling to pieces in bankruptcy, and instantly 
commencing again. It is a gigantic gambling system, which 
however, the Colony can afford. The community prospers. 
Individuals who are down to-day are up to-morrow, and the 
loss, when there is loss, is spread over so large an area that it 
is not seriously felt. Nothing can go seriously wrong when 
the common labourer's wages are Ss. a day. 

Hot as the weather was, the land did not seem to suffer 
much from drought. The forest was thick where the diggers 
had not destroyed it. For the last thirty miles we passed 
through a continuous, well-wooded park, the grass green under 
the trees and the richer soils inclosed and cultivated. Rabbits 
in plenty were running about. Sheep were lying down con- 
tented, in the long evening shadows ; and though the air was 
like a furnace, it was all very pretty and peaceful. In build- 
ing Sandhurst, as in building Ballarat, the people had thought 
first of shelter from the heat. The pine-trees towered above 
the houses as we approached, and stretched out in long lines 
till we lost the end of them in the distance. The mayor of 
the city was waiting for us at the station. He took me off 
with him at once in his carriage. In the first minute he told 
me that they had planted a hundred miles of avenue, ' and all 
paid for.' In the second minute he told me that they had 
30,000 inhabitants there, but were crying out for more. He 
was a Scotchman, I suppose, for he said, ' We want more 
Scots. Give us Scots. Give us the whole population of 
Glasgow ; we will take them in, and find work for them, and 
make Sandhurst the world's wonder.' We were set down at 
the ' Grand Hotel,' a fine airy mansion looking out upon a 



SANDHURST 117 

broad street, with porches, verandahs, and long overhanging 
balconies. Flowers and flowering trees were all around us. 
The moon was rising full over the roofs, and the still slowly 
cooling atmosphere was loaded with perfume. Mosquitoes, 
1 sweet companions of our midnight solitude,' unfortunately 
swarmed ; but we kept them at bay with curtains, and heard 
only the grim notes of their trumpets as they struggled to 
make their way to us through the network. There had been 
none at Ballarat, and we had forgotten the existence of such 
things. 

Ballarat had entertained us handsomely ; the mayor of 
Sandhurst was not to be outdone. In the morning we found 
that he had watered the roads for us, that we might not suffer 
from the dust the mayor, or perhaps the three mayors ; for 
Sandhurst like other places, is ' a city divided against itself. 1 
There is an Upper Sandhurst and a Lower Sandhurst, each 
with its own town-hall and corporation, and a superior opinion 
of itself in comparison with its rival. And there is a suburb 
four miles out, called Eaglehawk, with another corporation, 
the principle of local self-government being in full develop- 
ment. Eaglehawk is the latest-born of the group, being the 
offspring of the exceptionally rich gold veins which have been 
found in the quartz rock there. The mines at Eaglehawk 
were the jewels of the district, and as we could not see all, we 
went to see them. It stands high, on the crest of a ridge, 
and looks higher than it is, from the white piles of stone 
raised out of the shafts, and the huge chimneys and wheels 
and engine-works. Orders had evidently been issued that we 
should be received with distinction. Mine-captains and miners 
were waiting our arrival ; we were invited to go down into 
the mine itself. A rough suit of clothes was provided for 
each of us, and I and two or three others squeezed ourselves 
into a lift, and with candles in our hands descended easily 
and rapidly 700 feet. We were landed in a gallery which had 
been the track of a gold seam through the rock. The white 
quartz glittering with iron pyrites in the light of our candles, 
the gold crystals sparkling on the splintered surface, was like 
a scene out of the ' Tales of the Genii ' Gnomes or trolls 



ii? OCEAN A 

should have been grinning at us from the black shadowy 
corners ; but neither gnome nor troll is known, so far, to have 
emigrated into these regions. The floor was clean and dry 
under foot. There wap no afterdamp or mephitic vapour to 
threaten explosions ; we wandered about collecting specimens 
till we were tired, and then were lifted into the upper air 
again, as easily (in spite of Virgil) as we had descended. 
The mine was a thing to be remembered. Back in daylight 
and restored to our own clothes, we had to be conducted over 
the crushing mills. They were identical with those which we 
had seen already the same row of cylinders thumping down 
upon the stone, the same roar of machinery, and the same 
results ; but the good people were proud of them and we 
could not be impatient after the trouble which they had taken 
to please us. Champagne and fruit were laid out in a work- 
shed, and out of a tray of quartz fragments bright with sprays 
of native gold we were invited to take what we pleased and 
carry them home with us. We made such acknowledgment 
as we could, and our words said less than we felt. A set 
luncheon followed, with more champagne, and we had to 
make speeches. 

Eaglehawk, however, was not to be preferred to Sand- 
hurst, so we had to be brief and hurry down to a second 
luncheon, and more champagne and more speeches. The occa- 
sion was used for very warm expressions on the confederation 
with the mother country. The general feeling was that there 
had been enough of jealousy and distrust. England and the 
Colonies were one race, and ought to be politically one. I felt 
myself challenged to say something at one of these feasts, I 
think it was at Eaglehawk ; so I was as enthusiastic as they 
were, and laid the fault on the politicians, who brought people 
into quarrels when the people themselves wished for nothing 
BO little. I told a story of two gentlemen who, after some 
mall difference, had been drawn into a duel by their friends, 
the friends declaring that the matter could not be settled 
without an exchange of shots. As the principal parties were 
being led to their places, one whispered to the other, ' If yon 
will shoot your second, I will shoot mine.' There was much 



MOUNT MACEDON 119 

laughing, and a voice called out, ' Do you want us to shoot our 
Ministers t ' As Mr. Gillies was present I had to be careful, 
but indeed it was not Colonial Ministers that I was thinking 
of at all, but one or two whom I could mention at home. 
Though in superabundance, the champagne was good, and we 
suffered less from it than might have been expected. All wag 
heartiness and good humour, and as I look back upon those 
scenes, I see, in the warm welcome which was extended to us, 
less a compliment to our personal selves, than a display of 
their affection for the mother country, and a determination 
not to be divided from it. 

This was our last experience with the gold mines ; and I 
can only say that if all the gold in the world was turned to as 
good account as the Victorian colonists are turning theirs, 
reformers and friends of humanity might wrap themselves in 
blankets and sleep. 

Once more to the railway and to a change of scene. It 
was now the 31st of January, the hottest part of the Austra- 
lian dog-days. At this time of year Melbourne, generally 
cool and pleasant, becomes oppressive, especially to children. 
Those who can be absent go for the season to Tasmania. Sir 
Henry Loch, who was obliged to remain within reach of his 
advisers, had removed with his family to a cottage in the 
mountains, 3,000 feet above the sea, forty miles only from 
Melbourne, and near the Sandhurst and Melbourne line. 
Here he had kindly requested us to rejoin him. It was called 
Mount Macedon from the hill on which it stood. How the 
hill came by its title I do not know. The native names are 
shapeless and ugly. The first European owner perhaps took 
the readiest designation which he found in his classical dic- 
tionary. At a roadside station we parted from our escort and 
his sumptuous carriage, he to go on to Melbourne and prepare 
another excursion for us, we to make our way in a post-cart 
to the mountain which we saw rising before us, clothed from 
foot to crest with gigantic gum-trees. There was forest all 
about us as far as eye could reach. We had been warned that 
we were going into a wilderness ; but it was a civilised wilder- 
ness, as will be seen. After driving four or five miles we 



1*0 OCEANA 

came to the foot of Mount Macedon, up the side of which the 
horses had to crawl. After ascending four hundred feet we 
found a level plateau, laid out prettily with cottages, a good- 
looking house or two, and an English -looking village church. 
A short descent again, and then an equal rise, brought us to 
the gate of the summer residence of the Governor, a long, 
low, one-storied building with a deep verandah round it 
clustered over with creepers. As at Madeira, where the 
climate changes with the elevation, and an hour's ride will 
take you from sugar-canes into snow, so here we found the 
flora of temperate regions in full vigour, which refuse to grow 
at all at the lower levels. We had still the gum-trees about 
us, shooting up freely, two hundred feet or more ; some mag- 
nificent, in full foliage ; others naked, bare, and skeleton-like, 
having been killed by bush fires ; but round the house, oaks 
and elms, cypress and deodara seemed at home and happy; 
filbert-trees were bending with fruit too abundant for them to 
ripen, while the grounds were blazing with roses and gera- 
niums and gladiolus. The Australian plain spread out far below 
our feet, the horizon forty miles away ; the reddish-green of 
the near eucalyptus softening off into the transparent blue of 
distance. Behind the house the mountain rose for another 
thousand feet, inviting a climb which might be dangerous, for 
it swarms with snakes black snakes and tiger snakes both 
venomous, and the latter deadly. In open ground nobody 
minds them, for they are easily avoided or killed ; but no one 
walks unnecessarily through long grass or bushes in their 
peculiar haunts. 

The situation is so beautiful and so healthy that it is a 
favourite with the wealthy Melbourne gentlemen. Seven 
hundred feet above us the accomplished Sir George Verdon, 
long agent-general for Victoria, in England, and remembered 
and regretted by all who knew him, has built himself a most 
handsome mansion surrounded by well-timbered grounds which 
he has inclosed and planted. 

In the winter, which he spends in Melbourne, this high- 
land home of his is sometimes swathed in snow. In summer 
the heat of the sun is tempered by the fresh keen air of the 



SUMMER RESIDENCE OF THE GOVERNOR 121 

mountain ; and were it only a little easier of access, Sir 
George Verdon's hermitage would be a place to be envied. 

He is not the Governor's only or nearest neighbour. A 
quarter of a mile from Sir Henry Loch's cottage, and on the 
same lower level, there is another large residence, belonging 
to a Mr. Ryan, originally from Ireland, I believe, but an old 
settler in Victoria and a gentleman of very large fortune. 
Having the colonial passion for gardening and means for in- 
dulging it, Mr. Ryan has created what in England would be 
a show place, for its beauty and curiosity. Tropical plants 
will not of course grow there, but all else seemed to grow ; 
there was scarcely a rare flower belonging to the temperate 
regions of any part of the world of which he had not a 
specimen, and his fruit garden would have supplied one side of 
Covent Garden. 

The Governor had not such grounds as Sir George Verdon, 
nor such flower-beds as Mr. Ryan, but what he had would 
have been counted beautiful anywhere else. The landscape 
surrounding was perfection ; and in this delightful situation 
and in the doubly delightful society of the Governor's family, 
we lingered day after day. He himself was called frequently 
to Melbourne on business, but he could go and return in the 
same day. We walked, sketched, lounged, and botanised, 
perhaps best employed when doing nothing except wandering 
in the shade of the wood. One night upon the terrace I can 
never forget. The moon rose with unnatural brightness over 
the shoulder of the mountain ; the gorges below were in black 
shadow ; the foliage of the gum-trees shone pale as if the 
leaves were silver, and they rustled crisply in the light night- 
breeze. The stillness was only broken by the far-off bark of 
some wandering dog, who was perhaps on the scent of an 
opossum ; we stood ourselves silent, for the scene was one of 
those which one rather feels than wishes to speak about, A 
week after, when we were far away, Mount Macedon was the 
centre of a bush-fire ; the landscape on which we were gazing 
was wreathed for miles and miles in smoke and flame, and the 
forest monarchs, which stood so serene and grand against the 
starry sky, were charred and blackened stumps. 



na OCEANA 

While we were thus resting at Mount Macedon, Mr 
Gillies had arranged another expedition for us to see a vine- 
yard at a place called St. Hubert's, where the only entirely 
successful attempt to grow fine Australian wine had been 
carried out, after many difficulties, by a Mr. Castella, a Swiss 
Catholic gentleman from Neufchatel. The visit was to bo 
partly on our account, that we might see what Victorian 
energy could do besides raising gold. It was also official, 
for Sir Henry Loch was to go with us as a recognition of 
Mr. Castella's merits to the colony. Australian wines had 
failed hitherto, as they had failed at the Cape, either from 
excess of sugar in the grapes, or from an earthy flavour con- 
tracted from the soil. The hock which we had tasted at 
Adelaide had been palatable but commonplace. Only experi- 
ments protracted through generations can determine in what 
situations wine deserving the name can be produced. The 
flavour of a grape tells you nothing of the final flavour of the 
fermented juices. The same vines grown in two adjoining 
fields, where the stratification or the aspect is different, yield 
completely different results. The wine, too, must be kept for 
several years before the flavour into which it will ripen is 
defined. The best, therefore, which can be attained in a new 
country is tentative and imperfect. 

Mr. Castella, however, had received honourable recogni- 
tion from the best European authorities at the Sydney Exhi- 
bition for his hocks and clarets. The Governor was to go over 
his manufactory and congratulate him on his triumph. 

St. Hubert's was fifty miles from Melbourne, in the valley 
of the Yarra. The blue satin railway carriage took us to the 
nearest station. There we clambered upon an old-fashioned 
four-horse coach, and after a dusty drive of eight miles we 
reached a large, roomy, straggling house, built with attempts 
at ornamental architecture, high-gabled roofs, a central tower 
with a flying outside staircase and gallery, the inevitable deep 
verandahs, and, as Mr. Castella's guests were often numerous, 
detached rooms, run up with planks, scattered in the shrub- 
beries. The Yarra wound invisibly between deep banks across 
the plains in front of the windows. Behind it, far off, was a 



MR. CASTELLA 123 

high range of mountains, from which columns of gmoke were 
rising in half a dozen directions, from forest bush-fires ; either 
lighted on purpose to clear the ground, or the careless work of 
wood-cutters or wandering natives. The fields immediately 
adjoining were the most brilliant green. The vines were all 
in full leaf. There were three hundred acres of them standing 
in rows, and staked like raspberry bushes, each bush powdered 
with sulphur, and smelling strongly of it. Our host himself 
was a vigorous, hale-looking man of sixty or upwards, with 
lively French features, light grey merry eyes, with a touch of 
melancholy at the bottom of them to be recognised at once 
as an original person well worth attention. He was an artist, 
I found, as well as a vine-grower. His rooms were hung with 
clever Australian landscapes in oils, his own work in the idle 
season. He had come to the colony thirty years ago, when 
Australia was the land of promise to so many ardent Euro- 
pean spirits who had been dispersed by the collapse of the 
revolutions. After many ups and downs of fortune he had 
married a Sydney lady, very handsome still, and moderately 
rich. He had bought land ; he had built his house and wine 
press. He had conquered fortune at last ; and has now only to 
gather the harvest of a well spent life, leaving behind him an 
honourable name among the pioneers of Australian industry. 

We were a large party, and the extensive house was full. 
Sir George Verdon had descended from his eyrie to accompany 
as. There was a New Zealand member of council, whose 
name I did not catch ; Mr. Langton, a high Victorian official, 
steady, calm, and sensible, with a pretty daughter ; Mr. 
Rowan, a partner in Mr. Castella's firm, a tall, athletic, fresh- 
coloured, and evidently successful gentleman, who told us that 
he was a relation of the not yet forgotten Irish conspirator, 
Hamilton Rowan, whose life was saved by the devotion of the 
Dublin fishermen. Besides these, there were several others, 
but I had no opportunity of becoming personally acquainted 
with them. 

We were walked over the estate under our umbrellas, for 
the sun was blazing down upon us. We saw the vines grow- 
ing, the presses, the rows of hogsheads in the cellars, the vats 



124 OCEANA 

in which the grapes were trodden. I learnt here, as a fact 
new to me, that if fine wine is wanted, the human foot is still 
in requisition. Machinery crushes the grape-stones and taints 
the flavour. We had to taste from various casks, and profess 
to appreciate the differences, which we none of us could ; for the 
palates of the uninitiated soon lose the power to discriminate. 
Mr. C., however, offered to supply us with what seemed as 
good as we could desire, in any quantity, at twenty-five 
shillings a dozen, and so far as I can tell, I could be contented 
to drink nothing better, if I was never to have worse. 

The worst of the business was the heat. Evening came, 
but the thermometer did not fall. The air was still and 
stifling, with a smell of smoke in it. The temperature waa 
90 in the verandah at eight o'clock when we went in to 
dinner. 

I sat next to our host, and I have rarely met a more 
amusing companion. He had been in the French army. He 
had witnessed the Revolution of 1848 ; and I gathered from 
his conversation that he had been in close relation with some 
leading persons in those stormy days, for he knew many 
things which others did not know. He knew, for instance, 
the secret history of the murder of the Duchesse de Praslin. 
I myself knew something of that remarkable time, and some 
of the principal actors. It was very pleasant, and strange 
too, in such a place and scene, to hear the old story over again 
from so competent an authority. 

After dinner we sat out on the lawn, trying in vain to cool 
ourselves. Some of us adjourned to the top of the tower to 
smoke, where we heard anecdotes from Mr. Rowan of Smith 
O'Brien's rebellion ; among others, that five hundred Catholic 
Irish had been killed by the Orangemen in a battle in Ulster. 
He perhaps meant only ' kilt.' I had been in Ireland myself 
all that summer observing what was going on, yet had never 
heard of such a battle. The events which occurred must have 
been very imperfectly recorded. Perhaps the newspapers 
were in a conspiracy to suppress untoward incidents. Finally 
we went off to bed, I to a comparatively cool outbuilding 
among the bushes, where I was not without uneasiness about 



EXPEDITION TO FERNSHAW 13$ 

snakes. There were no snakes, but in the morning I found a 
dead Australian wild cat lying against the door, which had 
been worried in the night by the dogs. I walked out before 
breakfast among the fruit trees. Delicious ripe greengages 
hung in thousands within tempting reach. The ground under- 
neath was yellow with them, left to rot as they fell, but the 
boughs were bending under the weight of those which re- 
mained. I found Sir Henry and two or three more of our 
friends had been attracted by the same magnet. We were 
tempted and we all fell, but in that climate Nemesis is merci- 
ful, and does not exact too severe a penalty for light in- 
dulgence. 

It was hotter than ever, 98 now in the shade, but our 
day's work had been laid out for us. Mr. Gillies was a man of 
business, and was not to be denied. We were to be shown the 
giant trees at Fernshaw, the largest as yet known to exist any- 
where, higher by a hundred feet than the great conifers in the 
Yosemite valley. They were twenty miles off, in a mountain 
glen near the rise of the Yarra. We were to picnic among 
them, and return to St. Hubert's the same evening. One 
wished to be forty years younger, but the Colony is itself 
young ; age and its infirmities are not recognised, and at 
Rome we must do as the Romans. 

Away we went, squeezed together again on the coach-top, 
between the vine-rows and across the dusty plains. Neigh- 
bours who had been forewarned joined our procession on 
ponies or in carriages. Matters mended a little when we 
were over the Yarra. We were then in the forest at the foot 
of the hills. There was at least shade, the road winding 
among the valleys and slowly ascending. A railway from 
Melbourne is expected in these parts shortly, when the moun- 
tains will be the summer haunt of lodgers and excursionists. 
To us the solitude was broken only at a single interval, when 
the country opened, and there was a scattered hamlet. There 
we changed horses, and again plunged into the woods, the 
ravines growing wilder and wilder, the gum-trees grander and 
grander, the clean straight stems rising 200 feet, like the taU 
masts of some great Amiral,' before the lowest branch struck 



126 OCEANA 

out from them. Unique as these trees are they ought to be 
preserved ; but the soil which nourishes them is tempting from 
its fertility, and they are being rapidly destroyed. The 
Government makes laws about them, but in a democracy 
people do as they please. Custom and inclination rule, and 
laws are paper. A notch is cut a yard above the ground, the 
bark is stripped off, the circulation of the sap is arrested, the 
tree dies, the leaves at the top wither, the branches stand for 
a few years bare and ghostlike, and then it rots and falls. 
Sometimes the forest is wilfully fired ; one sees hundreds of 
trunks, even when there is still life left, scorched and black- 
ened on one side. 

The eucalyptus is a fast grower, and can be restored here- 
after when the loss of foliage begins, as it will, to affect the 
climate ; but the blackwood trees and acacias, which, though 
dwarfed by their immense neighbours, grow to what elsewhere 
would be a respectable size, mature only in centuries. The 
wood is valuable, and is everywhere being cut and carried off. 
The genius of destruction is in the air. In the Fernshaw 
Mountains, however, no great impression has been made as 
yet. One drives as through the aisles of an immeasurable 
cathedral, the boughs joining overhead to form the roof, 
supported on the grey columns which rise one behind the 
other all around. There is no undergrowth save tree-ferns, 
fine in their way, for some of them were thirty feet high, but 
looking like mere green mushrooms among the giant stems. 
We passed a pretty-looking mountain valley farm or two. 
One of them in a sheltered hollow had a garden stocked with 
raspberries, so productive that the owner made last year 450J. 
by them in the Melbourne market. At length we reached the 
bottom of the last hill, where stood a picturesque hotel, the 
Yarra running at the back of it, reduced in volume, but 
improved in colour a clear pebbly stream, with blackfish, 
trout, and eels in it. Here were lodgings for romantic 
tourists, as well as visitors' books with doggerel verses of the 

usual kind. E and I were asked for our autographs, the 

mistress nattering us into consent by saying that they did not 
want common names. The hotel itself seemed nicely kept, tht> 



GIGANTIC TREES 127 

rooms clean, the gardens well attended to, the credit being 
due more, I think, to the lady of the house than to the master, 
who looked as if he preferred enjoying himself to work of any 
kind. Here, too, for the first time, we saw a lyre-bird, which 
someone had just shot, the body being like a coot's and about 
the same size, the tail long as the tail of a bird of paradise, 
beautifully marked in bright brown, with the two chief feathers 
curved into the shape of a Greek lyre, from which it takes ita 
name. Of other birds we saw none, not a jackass to my 
sorrow, not even a magpie or a parrot. Two young ladies, 
however, joined us from Galway ; both pretty, one quiet, 
the other of the Baby Blake type, who amused herself, and 
perhaps him, by flicking one of the aides-de-camp with a riding 
whip. 

The hill was steep. We walked up, skirting the ravine 
where the objects were growing which we had come in search 
of, their roots far down in the hollow, their heads towering up 
as far above our heads. Three hundred and fifty to four hun- 
dred feet is their average height, and one was measured which 
reached four hundred and sixty. In the position in which 
they stand they are sheltered from all possible winds. To this 
and to the soil they owe their enormous development. I 
myself measured rudely the girth of one which stood near the 
road ; at the height of my own shoulder it was forty-five feet 
round. We had left the Yarra and were ascending a tributary 
brook, which was falling in tiny cascades below. The carriage 
with the hampers followed slowly ; at length we all stopped 
at a convenient place for the further ceremonies a sheltered 
slope by the side of the stream, which was rushing along 
amidst ferns and rocks, crags hanging over us and the great 
trees hanging over the crags. The young ladies made them- 
selves conspicuous by posing in picturesque attitudes on a 
point above a waterfall ; the young gentlemen by springing to 
rescue them from imaginary perils. The baskets were un- 
packed, and we settled to our luncheon as chance and con- 
venience of seats disposed us. Three sorts of wine from Mr. 
Castella's cellars were cooled in the sparkling pools, and in 
inch an environment, and after such a drive, were voted 



138 OCEANA 

universally to deserve the best that had been said of them. 
Venomous beasts there were none, but venomous insects in 
plenty ; flies with bites as poisonous as a Saturday Reviewer*! 
pen ; sand-ticks which had an eye for the bare leg above the 
stocking, and were expert in reaching it j other creatures 
which could make themselves disagreeable after their kind, 
which I had never heard of and now forget ; but we were all 
happy and in the best of spirits, and vermin of all kinds in 
this world prefer the sick in mind and body and leave the 
healthy alone. We did very well ; Mr. Gillies allowed us 
half-an-hour for our cigars ; we were then packed upon our 
coach again, and were carried back as we had come. I was 
glad to have visited the place. It was something to have seen 
the biggest trees in the world, and to be able, in California, to 
affect disdain of the Yosemite, and, among tree-ferns, and 
lyre-birds, and eucalyptus, to be able to feel that we were in 
no strange land, among strange ways and strange faces. It 
was the old country still, with its old habits and old forms of 
enjoyment. 

On the way home we turned aside to see a native settle- 
ment a native school, <fec. very hopeless, but the best that 
could be done for a dying race. The poor creatures were 
clothed, but not in their right minds, if minds they had ever 
possessed. The faces of the children were hardly superior to 
those of apes, and showed less life and vigour. The men 
threw boomerangs and lances for us, but could not do it well. 
The manliness of the wild state had gone out of them, and 
nothing had come in its place or could come. One old fellow 
had been a chief in the district when Mr. Castella first came 
to settle there. It was pathetic to see the affection which 
they still felt for each other in their changed relations. 

Another pleasant evening followed at the vineyard, a sound 
sleep, and I suppose more greengages in the morning. Then, 
after breakfast, the visit to St. Hubert's was over. The 
memory of the place, its master and his family, and the party 
assembled there, are a bright spot in the recollection of my 
travels. I liked Mr. Castella well, and was sorry to reflect 
(hat I should never see him more. 



GREAT FOREST FIRE no 

The heat was still extreme. The air glowed as over a fur 
nace. There was not breeze enough to move a thistledown, 
and the sun shone copper-coloured through the brown haze. 
In the train on the way to Melbourne we observed an unusual 
look in the sky ; a cloud hung over the horizon of a dirty 
white colour, more like wood smoke than natural mist, and 
becoming more and more like smoke as we came nearer to it. 
It was in the direction of Mount Macedon, and seemed to 
extend over the whole range of hills of which Mount Macedon 
was the centre. At length it became obvious that many miles 
of forest in that quarter, and apparently at that particular 
spot, must be in flames. Sir Henry was painfully anxious. 
An aide-de-camp waiting at the Melbourne station informed 
us that our fears were well founded. The whole district was 
burning. The Governor's cottage and Sir George Verdon's 
house were safe so far ; but fires of this kind, and in such 
weather, spread with extreme rapidity. Lady Loch with the 
children were still on the spot. Sir Henry flew on with a 
special engine. The danger on these occasions is always great 
and may be terrible. He would have had us go with him ; 
but we feared we could be of little service we knew that we 
should be assuredly in the way, and we decided to remain 
ourselves at a club in the city of which we had been made 
honorary members. 



CHAPTER X. 

Colonial clubs Melbourne Political talk Anxieties about England Kederm- 
tion Carlyle's opinions Democracy and national character Melbourne 
society General aspects Probable future of the Colony. 

CLUBS in the Colonies answer the double purpose of the club 
proper and the private hotel, where members, and stranger* 
for whom a member will become responsible, can not only 
have the use of the public rooms, but can reside altogether. 
The arrangement is convenient for the members themselves, 
many of whom live at a distance, and come occasionally to the 



I jo OCEAN A 

city on business. It is particularly agreeable to visitors, who, 
if the club is a good one, are introduced at once to the best 
society in the place. We had already many friends there. 
At the Melbourne Club we made many more, and as we were 
won relieved of our anxiety about Mount Macedon and its 
occupants, our time was usefully spent there. The fire had 
been most destructive. The excessive heat and the long 
drought had brought the undergrowth into the condition of 
tinder. The flamos had spread as if the woods had been 
sprinkled with petroleum. Eight miles of forest, which we 
had left a week before in its summer beauty, were now a 
blackened waste. The mountains behind the cottage had 
been as a cone of dry fuel, and had been in a blaze to the 
very summit. Sir George Verdon's place had been saved by 
his own forethought ; a large area had been cleared -of bush 
between the house and the rest of the mountains, which the 
fire had been unable to cross. It had descended to within 
fifty yards of the cottage. It had then stopped partly from 
exhaustion, partly through the energy of the neighbours who 
had exerted themselves manfully and loyally. The danger 
was over ; the scene of ruin, with the flames still bursting out 
in distant parts of the woods, was so remarkable that Sir 
Henry sent again to beg us to go up and witness it E 
we'nt ; I preferred to retain unspoiled the image of that moon- 
light night, and remained where I was. The outbursting of 
the fierce irrational forces of nature has to me something 
painful and horrible, as if we lived surrounded by caged wild 
beasts, who might at any moment break their bars and tear us 
to pieces. Such indeed our condition is in this world, and it 
is well for us when only forests are set blazing, and not the 
distracted heads of human beings, like those French com- 
munists of whom I had been talking with ray host at St. 
Hubert's. But if we cannot escape such things, I have no 
curiosity to be a spectator of them. 

With the gentlemen whom I met at the club I had much 
interesting talk about colonial politics federation, the rela- 
tion of the colonies with the empire, tc., the results of which 
I thai! sum up further on. There was anxiety about England 



POLITICAL TALK 131 

too. When English interests were in peril, I found the 
Australians, not cool and indifferent, but ipsis Anglicis Angli- 
ciores, as if at the circumference the patriotic spirit was more 
alive than at the centre. There was a general sense that our 
affairs were being strangely mismanaged. The relations of 
large objects to one another can be observed better at a dis- 
tance than close at hand, when we see nothing clearly except 
what is immediately next to us. New Guinea was half- 
forgotten in our adventures in Egypt, and men asked me, 
and asked themselves, what, in the name of wonder, we were 
about. It began to be perceived, too, that the disease was in 
the constitution. The fault was not in individual ministers, 
but in the parliamentary system, which placed the ministers 
at the mercy of any accidental vote in the House of Commons, 
laid them open to be persecuted by questions, harassed by 
independent resolutions of irresponsible members, and thus 
incapacitated them from following any rational policy, and 
drove them from insanity to insanity. There lay the secret 
of the mischief. The remedy it was less easy to suggest ; but 
it was felt even there that a remedy of some kind would have 
to be found, if the empire was not to drift upon the rocks. 
One individual, indeed, did fall in for an exceptional share of 
blame. The second morning of our stay at the Club carae the 
news of the fall of Khartoum and Gordon's death. 

Upon the king all falls upon the king. 

With singular unanimity the colonists laid the guilt of this 
particular catastrophe at the door of the Liberal leader. They 
did not love him before, and had been at a loss to understand 
the influence which he had so long exercised His mighty 
popularity they thought must now at least be at an end. It 
could not survive a wound so deadly in his country's reputa- 
tion. They were deceived, it seems, yet perhaps they were 
only forming an opinion prematurely which hereafter will be 
the verdict of mankind. He, after all, is personally respon- 
sible, more than any other single man, for the helpless con- 
dition into which the executive administration of the English 
empire seems to have fallen. 

K9 



13* OCEANA 

It was suspected, by those whose distrust of this famous 
statesman was the deepest, that he might argue that now 
Gordon was dead the object of the campaign was over, and 
that orders might be sent to evacuate the Soudan. But the 
enthusiastic Victorians could not believe this even of him. 
A disgrace so flagrant was incredible. One gentleman sug- 
gested that Lord Wolseley would refuse to obey as if we 
were arriving at a new passing of the Rubicon, and a new 
Caesar; as if parliamentary government was a detested idol, 
which was cast out of its shrine, and worshipped no more ; as 
if the tide of the sacred river, long running in the direction 
of anarchy, had passed its flood, and was now turning once 
more. There was no doubt that things were amiss in England 1 
somewhere, and I told them how Carlyle had thought about it- 
all. In Carlyle's opinion the English nation was enchanted 1 
just now under a spell which for the last fifty years had 
bewitched us. According to him, England's business, if she 
understood it, was to gather her colonies close to her, and 
spread her people where they could breathe again, and send 
the stream of life back into her loaded veins. Instead of 
doing this, she had been feeding herself on cant and fine 1 
phrases, and delusive promises of unexampled prosperity. 
The prosperity, if it came which it wouldn't, and wouldn't 
stay if it did meant only that our country was to be the 
world's great workhouse, our green fields soiled with soot from- 
steam-engines the fair old England, the ' gem set in the 
silver sea,' was to be overrun with mushroom factory towns, 
our flowery lanes turned into brick lanes, our church spires- 
into smoky chimneys. We were to be a nation of slaves 
slaves of all the world, slaves to mechanical drudgery and 
cozening trade, and deluded into * dream that all this was the 
glory of freedom, while we were worse ofF than the blacks of 
Louisiana. It was another England that Carlyle looked 
forward to an England with the soul in her awake once 
more no longer a small island, bur. an ocean empire, where 
her millions and tens of millions vould be spread over their 
broad inheritance, each leading who^-some and happy lives on 
(heir own fields, and by their own Presides, hardened into 



NATIONAL GREATNESS 133 

men by the sun of Australia or the frosts of Canada free 
human beings in fact, and not in idle name, not miserable 
bondsmen any more. All this was well received, though, of 
course, translated into the practical, with the metaphorical 
parts of it toned down. The Victorians were willing to pro- 
vide for as many of our people as would come over to them in 
the ordinary way, but they did not want an inundation of 
paupers. England's manufacturing industries were the great 
sources of her present strength and wealth. England could 
not cease to be a manufacturing country. England had coal 
and iron, and must make calicoes and ironwork. They had 
land and gold, and would buy them of us. The colonies were 
the mother country's best customers, and bought five times 
more of our goods, in proportion to their population, than any 
other people bought, <fec. 

Very good doctrine as far as it went, but the great question 
of all seemed to be no more thought of in Australia than at 
home. They and we talk of our ' greatness.' Do we clearly 
know in what a nation's greatness consists 1 Whether it be 
great or little depends entirely on the sort of men and women 
that it is producing. A sound nation is a nation that is 
composed of sound human beings, healthy in body, strong of 
limb, true in word and deed brave, sober, temperate, chaste, to 
whom morals are of more importance than wealth or knowledge 
where duty is first and the rights of man are second where, 
in short, men grow up and live and work, having in them 
what our ancestors called the ' fear of God.' It is to form a 
character of this kind that human beings are sent into this 
world, and those nations who succeed in doing it are those 
who have made their mark in history. They are Nature's 
real freemen, and give to man's existence on this planet its 
real interest and value. Therefore all wise statesmen look 
first, in the ordering of their national affairs, to the effect 
which is being produced on character; and institutions, 
callings, occupations, habits, and methods of life are mea- 
sured and estimated first, and beyond every other considera- 
tion, by this test. The commonwealth is the common health, 
the common wellness. No nation can prosper long which 



134 OCEANA 

attaches to it* wealth any other meaning ; yet, as Aristotle 
observed long ago, in democracies this is always forgotten. 
They do not deny it in words, but they assume that, political 
liberty once secured, all else that is good will follow of itself. 
Virtue is a matter of course. Make men politically equal and 
they cannot fail to be virtuous. Of virtue OTTOO-OK m>v will do. 
So Aristotle observed it was in the Greek democracies, and 
this was the reason why they were always short-lived. Virtue 
is obligation ; obligation is binding ; and men who choose to 
be free in the modern sense do not like to be bound. They 
are emancipated from human authority. They do not re- 
impose the chains upon their own limbs. Each of them 
thenceforth attends to his own interests. That is, he gets as 
much money as he can and as much pleasure as the money 
will buy for him ; and when he has lost the habits which he 
has inherited from an older and severer training and is brought 
to the moral level which corresponds to his new state of 
liberty, the soul dies out of him ; he forgets that he ever had 
a soul. 

Hitherto this has been the history of every democratic 
experiment in this world. Democracies are the blossoming 
of the aloe, the sudden squandering of the vital force which 
has accumulated in the long years when it was contented to be 
hoalthy and did not aspire after a vain display. The aloe is 
glorious for a single season. It progresses as it never pro- 
gressed before. It admires its own excellence, looks back with 
pity on its earlier and humbler condition, which it attributes 
only to the unjust restraints in which it was held. It con- 
ceives that it has discovered the true secret of being ' beautiful 
for ever,' and in the midst of the discovery it dies. 
/ But enough of this. The principal men in Melbourne are 
of exceptional quality. They are the survivors of the genera- 
tion of adventurers who went out thither forty years ago, on 
the first discovery of the gold fields those who succeeded and 
made their fortunes while others failed. They are thus a 
picked class, the seeming./?//^, who had the greatest force, the 
greatest keenness, the greatest perseverance. These are not 
the highest qualities of all, but they are sufficient to give the 



MELBOURNE SOCIETY 135 

possessors of them a superiority in the race, and to make them 
interesting people to meet and talk to. Having large properties, 
and therefore much to lose, they are conservative in politica 
Indeed, of native, aggressive radicalism there is very little in 
Victoria. There is no need of it where everyone has enough 
to live on. I lunched on Sunday at the house of one of these 
great millionaires in a fashionable suburb. House, entertain- 
ment, servants, &c., were all on the superb scale, just like 
what one would find in London or New York. Mr. Langton, 
who had been with us at St. Hubert's, lived in the same neigh- 
bourhood. We spent an evening afterwards with him and a 
party of literary "Friends, exchanging splendour for simplicity, 
an3 the shrewd talk of a prosperous man of the world for 
aesthetic and intellectual conversation. Both were well enough 
in their way, though thelast was most to my taste, Mr. Langton 
himself being a very superior man. But again, I felt how 
entirely English it all was. There is not in Melbourne, there 
is not anywhere in Australia, the slightest symptom of a 
separate provincial originality either formed or forming. In 
thought and manners, as in speech and pronunciation, they are 
pure English and nothing else. There is more provincialism far 
in Exeter or York than in Melbourne or Sydney. We went 
home to our club in the evening by a crowded omnibus, and 
could have believed ourselves back in Piccadilly, the dress, 
look, and movements of the other occupants being so exactly 
the same. \ 

We had now been a month in Victoria a month into 
which had been crowded the experience of an ordinary year. 
I was now to go on to Sydney. We had been treated with 
old-fashioned English hospitality at Melbourne, and when the 
mayor invited us to a farewell entertainment at the town-hall, 
I was able to make some acknowledgment of the kindness to 
us of Governor, ministers, and people. So handsome they had 
all been, that I said 1 fancied that at bottom I must be a 
person of some importance, and that when I waa in London 
again I should be like Cinderella going home from the ball. If 
the account which T am able to give of them all should further, 
even in an infinitesimal degree, a clearer understanding in my 



ij6 OCEAN A 

own country of what they are and what they are doing, I shall 
be content for myself to sweep the ashes again, and I will ask 
no fairy godmother for any further present. The speaking on 
their part was warm and manly. The impression which then, 
and throughout, I formed of Victoria and the Victorians, I will 
shortly sum up before taking my final leave of them. 

The Colony, and Melbourne as its capital, have evidently 
a brilliant future before them. They cannot miss it. The re- 
sources of the country pastoral, agricultural, and mineral 
are practically unbounded. The people, so clever and energetic, 
will not fail to develop them ; and if the Premier was over- 
sanguine (as I think he was) in believing that Australia would 
grow as rapidly as America has grown, and would grow to 
equal dimensions, there is no doubt at all that, if they have no 
misadventure and are not interfered with from outside, in 
fifty years there will be an Australian nation, of which the 
Victorian will be a leading branch, able to hold its own and to 
take its place among the leading Powers of the world. The 
political condition is not, I think, entirely satisfactory. In 
Victoria there are no privileged classes, no inherited institu- 
tions which require to be modified to suit the change of times. 
Where all are, or may be, comfortably off, there is no dissatis- 
faction with the distribution of property, and, therefore, there 
is no natural division of parties, which constitutes the prin- 
ciple of parliamentary government. Parties in the colonies 
are artificial, and therefore unnatural and demoralising. It 
would be far better if the heads of the departments could be 
selected with reference simply to ability and character, and were 
relieved, as they are in the United States, from responsibility 
to the legislature. Politics in democracies tend always to 
intrigue or faction, but the peril is intensified where there is 
unreality in the very form of the constitution. The good 
sense of the colonists has prevented so far any serious harm. 
B "t they have passed through one dangerous crisis ; at any 
moment they may fall into another ; and parliamentary 
goveniment, it is likely, will prove but a temporary expedient 
adopted in imitation of English institutions, but incapable of 
permanence. 



MELBOURNE SOCIETY 137 

Almost every leading man is professedly loyal to the con- 
aection with England, and the people generally, 1 think, are 
really and at heart loyal. Any speaker who advocated separa- 
tion at a public meeting would be hooted down. But they are 
impulsive, susceptible, easily offended, and the language which 
I heard and read during the New Guinea excitement made me 
fear that if our relations are left as undefined as they are, and 
separation is allowed to be spoken of as a policy which may be 
legitimately entertained, they may be capable some day or 
other of rash acts which may be irreparable. One thing is 
certain Victoria will not part with the liberties which it now 
possesses. It is not represented in the English Parliament, 
and will never, therefore, directly or indirectly, return under 
the authority of the English Parliament. But they acknow- 
ledge a duty to the mother country as they understand it. It 
used to be pretended that if England fell into a war which 
might threaten the Colonial port towns, they would decline to 
share its burdens or its dangers. This will never be. The 
Colonies will not desert us in time of trial, and if they 
leave us it will be for other reasons. They will never leave us 
at all, I think, if they are treated respectfully and consider- 
ately ; but they complain that the Downing Street despatches 
are flavoured still with the old indifference, and are haughty 
ind ungracious. The broad evidence which they have lately 
given of their true disposition will for the future, perhaps, im- 
prove the tone. The English people must see to it if they 
desire a federal empire ; our rulers will obey their masters. 

Society in Melbourne is like society in Birmingham or 
Liverpool. There is no aristocracy, and there are not the 
manners of an idle class. The ' upper classes ' are the successful 
men of business and practical intelligence, who make large 
fortunes and spend them handsomely. There is no extrava 
gance that I saw. In some things the tone is rather puritanical; 
as, for instance, cabs and carriages are made to walk in passing 
a church on Sundays during service time. They allow no rude 
or inconsiderate forgetfulness of public convenience. Carriages, 
carts, vehicles of all kinds have to walk at crowded crossing- 
places. If the Melbourne buildings are heterogeneous, you 



138 OCEAN A 

Me something to admire in the management of the traffic. 
There ia an idle set at the lower end of the scale : noisy, riotous 
Bcanips, who are impertinent to peaceful passengers, and make 
rows at theatres, a coarse-type version of the old Mohawks 
they call them larrikins. The young men who are to inherit 
fortunes are said also to leave something to be desired. To be 
brought up with nothing to do, with means of enjoying every 
form of pleasure without the trouble of working for it, with a high 
station so far as wealth can confer a high station, and to have 
no duties attached to it, is not a promising equipment ; but so 
long as a young man's first duty is considered to be the making 
of money, and the money is already made, what can be ex- 
pected ! It is the same everywhere at present among nation* 
called civilised, and is one of the ugliest aspects of our con- 
dition. But the Victorian youth have the old energy. They 
are fine shots, bold fearless riders ; in yachting, rowing, 
cricket-playing, athletics of all kinds, they have the national 
capacity and are as good as we are. There is an exuberance 
of force, and in a federated Oceana higher occupation would 
be found for them in the army and navy and the public service. 
On the whole, considering that they have been nursed in 
sunshine, and have never known adversity, the merit of the 
Victorian colonists is very great. They have worked miracles 
in clearing and cultivating their land. In forty years they 
take their name from the Queen and are only coeval with her 
reign they have done the work of centuries. They are proud 
of themselves, and perhaps assert their consequence too loudly; 
but their country speaks for them, and they have fair ground 
for elation. In one point they differ from us I know not 
whether to their advantage. Froissart says of the English 
that they take their pleasures sadly. A ' sad wise man ' was 
an old English phrase. With so fair a climate and with life 
so easy the Victorians cannot be sad, and it is pleasant to see 
a people who know so well how to enjoy themselves. But 
men and nations require in reserve a certain sternness, and if 
anything truly great is ever to come out of them this lesson 
will in time be hammered into them. For the present they 
are well off and ought to be thankful. They complain of want 



RAILWAY TO SYDNEY 139 

of sympathy ; I should say that no subjects of Her Majesty 
just now are less in need of it. Praise and appreciation are 
their fair due, and we will not quarrel with them if they insist 
on being respected as they deserve. 



CHAPTER XI. 

The train to Sydney Aspect of the country Sir Henry Parkes The Australian 
Club The public gardens The Soudan contingent Feeling of the Colony 
about it An Opposition minority Mr. Dalley Introduction to him Day 
on Sydney Harbour The flag-ship Sir James Martin Admiral Tryon 
The colonial navy Sir Alfred Stephen Sunday at Sydney Growth of the 
town Excursions in the neighbourhood Paramatta river Temperament 
of the Australians. 

TRAVELLING in Australia was made an inexpensive process to 
us we had free passes over all the lines in Victoria, and free 
passes were sent us from New South Wales on the mere 
report that we were going thither. We left Melbourne on 
February 11 by the night train to Sydney. They had been 
very good to us there. I had found true friends, and I was 
sorry to think that I should probably never see them again. 
The line passes through the highlands where the rivers rise 
that run inland to the Murrumbidgee. The heat had been 
followed by violent rain ; and near the frontier of New South 
Wales an embankment and bridge had been carried away by 
a flood at the moment when the train from Melbourne was 
coming up. I read in a newspaper that the pointsman on the 
bridge had seen the earth giving way, and had seen the lights 
of the approaching engine. His own cottage, with his wife 
and children sleeping in it, stood in a situation where it would 
certainly be overwhelmed, and instant warning could alone 
save the lives of his family. If he advanced along the rail 
to stop the engine the cottage would be lost, with all in it. 
The choice was hard, and nature proved the strongest. The 
wife and children were saved, the train fell into the boiling 
abyss. The broken lines had been repaired. The river had 
fallen back into its channel, and we passed the spot oncon- 



140 OCEANA 

sciously without a sight of the ruins. We reached the frontier 
of New South Wales at Albury at midnight. We were now 
in another province, among other men, other principles, and 
other political theories. Victoria is democratic, progressive, 
and eager for colonial federation. New South Wales has the 
same form of government ; is progressive, too, in its more 
deliberate manner ; but it is Conservative, old-fashioned in 
favour of Imperial federation, and opposed to Colonial federa- 
tion, which it fears, as likely to lead little as the Victorians 
mean it to eventual separation and independence. There are 
differences of tariff too, and a certain rivalry between the two 
colonies. New South Wales is the elder brother, and expects 
a deference which it does not always meet with. We were 
asleep when we crossed the border. A special carriage had 
been reserved for us, not lined with blue satin, but comfortable 
enough to make us unconscious of ornamental differences. 

In the morning we became aware of a change in the aspect 
of the country. We were in the high bush, with an occasional 
clearing, but the land was generally uninclosed and unoccu- 
pied ; we were among mountains, or what in Australia pass for 
mountains from two to three thousand feet above the sea a 
wooded plateau broken into ridges, with glimpses occasionally 
into deeply cut valleys below. Victoria had been brown and 
heat-scorched. Here trees and grass were greener and fresher 
from the rain. Of animal life there was little visible : not 
many sheep or cattle ; of rabbits, none ; of kangaroos, none. 
There were a few magpies, a few parrots, so pretty with 
their bright colours that one wished for more. A pair of 
laughing jackasses expressed their opinion of us as we went 
by only a pair ; and this was nearly all. After breakfast 
the country improved : farms and homesteads began to show, 
with inclosed fields and gardens ; villages had grown up 
about the stations ; boys appeared on the platforms with 
baskets of grapes and newspapers. From the latter, New 
South Wales appeared to be wholly occupied with the Soudan 
business, the death of Gordon, and the discredit of our poor 
country at home. It seemed to be assumed that we should 
DOW rouse ourselves and make an effort to recover our honour, 



APPROACH TO SYDNEY 141 

und in this day of our trouble the Australians wished to be 
allowed to stand at our side. We learnt that the Ministry at 
Sydney had offered to send a contingent to Suakin at the 
Colony's expense. The offer had been despatched and the 
answer was anxiously expected. This was a new feature in 
colonial history, confirming to me all the impressions which I 
'had formed of the colonists' true disposition. It was an in- 
teresting -but an . anxious event, and I could perceive that 
much would turn on what the answer was. A refusal would 
be especially pleasing to those who wished ill to the English 
connection. 

In the forenoon we ran down from the hills to the plains, 
which we had seen from our window stretching blue and hazy 
to the horizon. Ten miles from Sydney the detached cottages 
became thicker, villages smartened themselves into suburbs. 
The city spread inland to meet us, and we had been many 
minutes running between houses before we arrived at the 
station. Sydney proper the old Sydney of the first settle- 
ment stands on a long neck of land at the mouth of the 
Paramatta river, between two deep creeks which form its 
harbour that is, its inner harbour, where its docks and wharfs 
are. Port Jackson, the harbour proper, from which these are 
mere inlets, is the largest and grandest in the world. A 
passage about a mile wide has been cut by the ocean between 
the wall of sandstone cliffs which stretch along the south-west 
Australian shores. The two headlands stand out as gigantic 
piers, and the tide from without, and the freshwater flood from 
within, have formed an inlet shaped like a starfish, with a great 
central basin, and long arms and estuaries which pierce the 
land in all directions, and wind like veins between lofty sand- 
atone banks. The rock is grey or red. Worn by the rains and 
tides of a thousand human generations, it projects in over- 
hanging shelves, or breaks off into the water and lies there in 
fallen masses. 

The valleys thus formed, and widening and broadening 
with age, are clothed universally with the primeval forest of 
eucalyptus, and dark Australian pine the eucalyptus in its 
most protean forms, and staining its foliage in the nj"^ varied 



I 4 2 OCEANA 

colours, the red cliffs standing out between the branches, or 
split and rent where the roots have driven a way into their 
crevices. In some of these land-locked reaches, except for 
the sunshine and the pure blue of the water, I could have 
fancied myself among the yews and arbutuses of Killarney. 
The harbour is on an average, I believe, about nine fathoms 
deep. The few shoals are marked, and vessels of the largest 
size lie in any part of it in perfect security. Sydney itself is 
about seven miles from the open sea. The entire circuit, I 
was told, if you follow the shore round all the winding inlets 
from bluff to bluff, is 200 miles. There is little tide, and 
therefore no unsightly mud-banks are uncovered at low water 
It has the aspect and character of a perfect inland lake, save 
for the sea monsters the unnumbered sharks which glide to 
and fro beneath the treacherous surface. 

There is no originality as yet in railway stations. The 
station at Sydney is, like all other stations, merely convenient 
and hideous. We were met there by Sir Henry Parkes, 
ex-premier, for the present retired from public life, but pro- 
bably not to remain so. He had kindly written to me when I 
was at Melbourne with offers of hospitality. I found him a 
tall, fine, hale-looking man of seventy, warm and generous in 
manner, and most anxious to be of use to us. The Governor, 
Lord Augustus Loftus, was absent in the mountains. He had 
left a letter for me, expressing his regret that he could not 
receive us at Government House, but giving us a warm invi- 
tation to pay him a visit at his country residence. E 

was to leave us to stay with his friend, Admiral Tryon, on 
board the ' Nelson,' in the harbour. Sir Henry Parkes, with 
true colonial hospitality, proposed that we should be guests of 
his own, or that, if we preferred to remain in Sydney for he 
himself lived a great many miles out of it we should take 
up our abode with a friend of his, the editor of the leading 
Sydney paper. The editor himself, and his handsome, bright- 
looking wife, who had accompanied Sir Henry to the station, 
heartily endorsed this invitation. In Sir Henry we should 
have had a host who was intimately acquainted with the 
internal affair* of the colony. In the house of the editor we 



THE SOUDAN CONTINGENT 143 

should have met influential and interesting gentlemen con- 
nected with the press or with politics. But for many reasons 
I wished to be independent. The question of the hour was 
the despatch of the colonial contingent to Suakin, and Sir 
Henry had already given a voice in opposition to the Govern- 
ment offer. The general sentiment of the Colony was loudly 
favourable, but there was a minority, which might perhaps 
become a majority, who held it unnecessary, uncalled-for, and 
unconstitutional, and of these Sir Henry was the leading 
representative. I desired to observe impartially the move- 
ments of opinion, and I hesitated to put myself directly in the 
hands of anyone who was taking a decided part. He had an- 
ticipated that this might be my feeling, and as an alternative 
had found lodgings for us, if we pleased to engage them, in 
Macquarie Street, the Park Lane of Sydney. The lodgings 
seemed all that could be wished, but on inquiring further I 
found that for our sitting-room and two bedrooms I should 
have to pay the modest price of 151. a week. Modest price it 
essentially was, though at the first mention startling. Wages 
in Sydney are twice what they are at home ; and most other 
things are in the same proportion. What in England costs 
sixpence, in Sydney costs a shilling ; money is twice as easily 
earned, and the result to residents is the same in the long run. 
I, however, had not come thither to earn wages double or 
single, and 15Z. a week was beyond me. We had been offered 
rooms at the Australian Club ; Macquarie Street overlooked 
the gardens and the harbour, and the prospect from it was 
exquisite ; the Australian Club was in the heart of the city ; 
but the charges there were moderate, the bedrooms said to be 
comfortable, and the living as good as could be desired. It was 
close to the Bank, the public offices, and the commercial port ; 
the gardens were within a short walk ; the Club was clearly 
the place, and to this we decided to go. Sir Henry accom- 
panied me in a cab to the door, showing me the park, and 
Woolner's great statue of Cook on the way. He then left 
me, not choosing to go in, as he might meet excited politicians 
there. My son brought down the portmanteaus in a cab, for 
which he had to pay five shillings. We settled in, and found 



144 OCEANA 

our quarters as satisfactory as we had been led to expect. 
There was not the splendour of Melbourne, but there was 
equal comfort, and from the cards and invitations which were 
instantly showered upon us we found that the disposition of 
the inhabitants was as warm, though it differed in form. In 
Victoria they wished to show us their colony ; in New South 
Wales they offered us admission into their society. They 
are not behind in energy and enterprise ; in essentials, New 
South Wales is as ' go-ahead ' as the sister community ; but it 
has been longer settled, and they go about their work more 
quietly. Four generations have passed since Sydney became a 
city, and the colonists there have contracted from the climate 
something of the character of a Southern race. Few collec- 
tions of human beings on this planet have so much to enjoy, 
and so little to suffer ; and they seem to feel it, and in the 
midst of business to take their ease and enjoy themselves. 

Among the other cards there was a note from the admiral, 
asking us to dine the next day on board the ' Nelson.' The 
deck of an English man-of-war, wherever she may be, is 
English soil. When you stand on those planks you are 
an English subject, and nothing else, under English law and 
authority. Colonial jurisdiction reaches to the ship's side, but 
goes no further. The colonists were loyal fellow-subjects and 
were that moment giving a distinguished proof of it ; but 
Oceana is not yet a political reality ; it would be pleasant to 
feel entirely at home, if but for a few hours ; and the ac- 
count of the admiral which we had heard from E , 

made me glad of an opportunity of becoming acquainted with 
him. 

On the first evening we were left to ourselves. I walked 
up in the twilight to the esplanade at the gate of the public 
garden, and I think I have never in my life gazed on a scene 
so entirely beautiful. It was not for the trees and flowers. 
They were lovely, and any where in Europe would be celebrated 
as a wonder. But there was not the science, there was not 
the elaborate variety, which I had admired at Ballarat 
Sydney is many degrees hotter. Tropical plants which there 
require glass to shelter them, at Sydney breathe luxuriantJj 



SYDNEY GARDENS 145 

the free air of heaven ; but the roses and lilies of the tempe- 
rate zone, which are the fairest flowers that blow, grow feebly 
there, or will not grow at all. It is the situation which gives 
to the Sydney garden so exquisite a charm. The ground 
slopes from the town to the sea with inclining lawns, flower- 
beds, and the endless variety of the tropical flora. Tall Nor- 
folk Island pines tower up dark into the air, and grand walks 
wind for miles among continually varying landscapes, which 
are framed by the openings in the foliage of the perfumed 
shrubs. Within the compass of the garden the sea forms two 
deep bays, one of which is reserved for the ships of the squad- 
ron. Five vessels lay at anchor there, their spars black 
against the evening sky, and the long pennants drooping at the 
masthead ; the ' Nelson ' sitting like a queen in the midst of 
them, the admiral's white flag hanging over the stern. Steam- 
launches were gliding at half power over the glassy waters, 
which were pink with the reflection of the sunset. Boats 
were bringing off officers and men who had been at leave on 
shore ; the old order, form, and discipline in the new land of 
liberty the shield behind which alone tne vaunted liberty is 
possible. Behind the anchorage were rocky islands, with the 
deserted ruins of ancient batteries, now useless and superseded 
by ampler fortifications inside the bluffs. Merchant ships 
lay scattered over the outer harbour, and a yacht or two lay 
drifting with idle sails. Crowded steam ferry-boats were 
carrying the workmen home from the city to distant villages. 
On wooded upland or promontory shone the white palaces of 
the Sydney merchants, and beyond again were the green hills 
softened by distance and the growing dusk into purple, which 
encircle the great inlet of Port Jackson. 

As a mere picture it was the loveliest that I had ever 
looked upon. The bay at Rio, I am told, is equally fine, and 
indeed finer, being overhung by mountains. There are no 
mountains at Sydney. The Blue Range is far off on the land 
side, and makes no part of the harbour scenery. But one 
does not always wish for grandeur. Sydney has the perfec- 
tion of soft beauty, and one desires no more. At Rio, more- 
over, if the English flag is seen, it flies -as a stranger. At 



146 OCEANA 

Sydney there are the associations of home we are among 
our own people, in a land which our fathers had won for us. 

I stood admiring till twilight had become night. The 
stars grew visible and the great bats, the flying squirrels, came 
out to hunt the foolish moths. I could take in the scene only 
as a whole. The details of it I studied afterwards. The air 
was sultrier even than at St. Hubert's ; greater heat had not 
been known, even at Sydney, for several years. I returned to 
my club and to bed, to find, alas ! that I was not yet in Para- 
dise ; or if I was, it was Paradise after the Fall. 

Dead-tired, I slept till morning safe, as I fondly believed, 
behind mosquito-curtains. I awoke bitten over hands and 
face as a young author is bitten by the critics on his first 
appearance in print. The mosquito of Sydney is the most 
venomous of his whole detested race. Where he has fastened 
his fangs and poured in his poison, there rise lumps and blotches 
which irritate to madness. The blotch opens into a sore, and 
I was left with a wound on the back of my right hand which 
did not heal for a month. Happily, again like the critic, he 
chiefly torments the new-comers. I was inoculated that night 
*nd suffered no more afterwards. Perhaps the blood is in 
some way affected and the venom finds an antidote. 

One forgets, however, even mosquito-bites among entirely 
new sensations. The club reading-room after breakfast was 
full of gentlemen in eager and anxious conversation on the 
auxiliary force. Was it right to have made the offer, and 
would the offer be accepted ? The prevailing tone was of 
hope and warm approval. New South Wales had been accused 
of coldness to the Australian federation scheme, and of in- 
difference to the German aggression in New Guinea. The 
true heart of the colony had now an opportunity of showing 
what it really was. If the proposal was coldly refused, as 
some thought it would be, then indeed it would be a fresh 
instance of the indifference with which the colonies were 
regarded. It would be a sign that the Separatist policy wag 
to be persevered in at home, and an impulse would be given to 
the Separatist policy in their own country to which, in that, 
rate, they might have reluctantly to yield. But they hoped 



POLITICAL ANXIETIES 147 

better things. The people of England would not cast away a 
hand so freely held out to them. It might draw the nation 
together instead of dividing it, and prove a turning-point in 
t-he relation between the colonies and the mother country. 

There was not unanimity, however. There were some, 
and those not at all fools and not disloyal, who maintained 
that the answer would certainly be negative, and that they 
were exposing themselves gratuitously to an affront. If even 
it were accepted, the offer ought not to have been made so 
precipitately, when the Colonial Parliament was not sitting, 
and the constitutional sanction could neither be asked nor 
obtained. Mr. Dalley, who had taken upon himself to speak 
for the Colony, was not even Prime Minister. He was the 
Attorney-General and acting- Premier only in the absence of 
his chief, Mr. Stuart. On the general merits of the question 
there was no occasion for Australia to thrust herself unasked 
into England's foreign complications. If the great Powers 
combined to injure England there would be a claim on them 
to which, of course, they would respond ; but this Egyptian 
affair was a war of England's own seeking, and for them to 
mix themselves up with it would be at once gratuitous and 
useless, and an unjustifiable burden upon the colonial resources. 
England had withdrawn her troops from the colonies, and had 
charged them with the cost of their own defence. If they 
wanted soldiers she had warned them that they must provide 
soldiers for themselves. An English fleet was still in their 
waters, but they had been encouraged and were expected to 
fit out ships of their own, and had already formed an im- 
perfect squadron. They had been even forced to accept a 
difference in their flag. It was absurd, under these circum- 
stances, to strip themselves of the scanty force which they 
possessed, to leave themselves without sufficient trained meu 
to serve their batteries, and to invite attack from the rest of 
the world in case the war spread, which it was exceedingly 
likely to do. England's conduct in the Egyptian business had 
left her without a friend in Europe. Already rumours were 
heard of differences on the Afghan frontier with Russia, and 
the Russian fleet in the Amoor waa a dangerous neighbour. 



148 OCEANA 

Bo long as they kept aloof from these complications, foreign 
nations might respect their neutrality. England had ostenta- 
tiously told them that she wanted nothing of them except 
that they should spare her further trouble. To put them- 
selves forward unasked was to challenge attack, and was 
Quixotic and absurd. They might wake up some morning 
to find the Russian ironclads at the Bluff, and Sydney at 
their mercy, and Sir Henry Parkes had said plainly that a 
minister who went into such an enterprise without leave of 
Parliament, on his own responsibility, would deserve to be 
impeached. 

The answer from Lord Derby had been delayed. Some- 
thing was said to be wrong with the telegraph on the 
Persian frontier. Strange to think that communication 
between London and an island at the Antipodes should be 
carried on through ancient Parthia and across the rivers of 
Ecbatana and Babylon ! It was not to be denied that there 
was force in Parkes's arguments. England's own attitude to 
the colonies, so far as it had been defined by the leading 
Liberal statesmen, had incited and provoked them to dis- 
sociate themselves from her. Had the answer of England 
when it arrived been hesitating, or had it been long in coming, 
reflection would have given weight to the objections. The 
impulse would have died away and no more would have been 
heard about the matter. But the wires were replaced quickly, 
and brought a warm and grateful assent. The Agent-General 
in London sent word that the offer of the Colony had been 
welcomed with universal appreciation by the whole English 
nation, and the corresponding enthusiasm was irresistible. 
To l>e allowed to share in the perils and glories of the battle- 
field, as part of a British army, was regarded at once as a 
distinction of which Australia might be proud and as a 
guarantee of their future position as British subjects. The 
help which they were now giving might be slight, but Aus- 
tralia in a few years would number ten millions of men, and 
this small body was an earnest of what they might do here- 
after. If ever England herself was threatened, or if there was 
another mutiny in India, they would risk life, fortune all 



THE SOUDAN CONTINGENT 149 

they had as willingly as they were sending their present 
contingent. It was a practical demonstration in favour of 
Imperial unity. 

Volunteers crowded to enrol their names. Patriotic citi- 
ens gave contributions of money on a scale which showed 
chat little need be feared for the taxpayer. Archbishop 
Moran, the Catholic Primate, gave a hundred pounds, as an 
example and instruction to the Irish ; others, the wealthy 
ones, gave a thousand. The rush of feeling was curious and 
interesting to witness. The only question with me was if it 
would last. The ancient Scythians discussed critical national 
affairs first drunk and then sober. Excited emotion is fol- 
lowed by a cold fit, and it is desirable to postpone a final de- 
cision till the cold fit has come. If the force went and was 
cut to pieces, if it was kept in garrison and not exposed in 
the field, if it suffered from sickness or from any one of the 
innumerable misadventures to which troops on active service 
are liable, the sense of glory might turn to discontent, the tide 
would change, and worse might follow than if the enterprise 
had never been ventured. The opposition was not silenced ; 
I listened for a quarter of an hour to an orator haranguing a 
crowd in the public park. He spoke well, and I was glad 
that I had not to answer him. ' What was this war in the 
Soudan 1 ' he said ; ' who were these poor Arabs, and why 
were we killing them 1 By our own confession they were 
brave men who were fighting for the liberty of their country. 
Why had we invaded them ? Did we want to take their 
country from them 1 If it was necessary for our own safety 
there would be some excuse, but we had ostentatiously de- 
clared that after conquering them we intended to withdraw. 
Neither we nor anyone could tell what we wanted. We were 
shooting down human beings in tons of thousands, whose 
courage we ourselves admired. They had done us no wrong, 
and no object could be suggested save that the English 
Government had a difficulty in keeping their party contented 
in Parliament. Was this a cause in which far-off Australia 
should seek a part uncalled-for, or lend her sanction to an 
enormous crime 1 Let her keep at home and mind her OWP 



I Jo OCEAN A 

business, and not add, without better occasion, to the burden* 
of her people.' 

The crowd listened, and here and there, especially when 
the speaker dwelt upon the right of all people to manage their 
own affairs, there were murmurs of approval ; but the immense 
majority were indifferent or hostile. The man, in fact, was 
speaking beside the mark. The New South Wales colonists 
cared nothing about the Soudan. They were making a demon- 
stration in favour of national identity. Many causes com- 
bined to induce them to welcome the opportunity of being of 
use. There was a genuine feeling for Gordon. There was a 
genuine indignation against Mr. Gladstone's Government 
Gordon was theirs as well as ours. He was the last of the race 
of heroes who had won for England her proud position among 
the nations ; he had been left to neglect and death, and the 
national glory was sullied. There was a desire, too, to show 
those who had scorned the colonists, and regarded them as a 
useless burden on the Imperial resources, that they were as 
English as the English at home. We might refuse them a 
share in our successes. We could not and should not refuse 
them a share in our trials. ' You do not want us,' they 
seemed to say, ' but we are part of you, bone of your bone ; 
we refuse to be dissociated from you.' It was an appeal to 
the English people against the English political philosophers ; 
an* answer which would at last be listened to against the advo- 
cates of separation. If it failed to convince Mr. Goldwin 
Smith and his disciples, it would deprive them of further 
support from the body of the nation. It would have a further 
effect which would be felt all the world over. In their esti- 
mate of the strength, present and future, of Great Britain, 
the great Powers had left the colonies unconsidered. In that 
quarter, at least, the effect of Mr. Goldwin Smith's theories 
was well understood. Other nations would grow. England, 
if it shut itself within its own limits, could not grow, or would 
grow only to her own destruction. They would increase and 
she would decrease, and they despised her accordingly. They 
had taken the political economists as the exponents of the 
national seutiiuent. They had assumed that if war came the 



FEELING OF THE COLONY 151 

colonies would immediately fall off. In this spontaneous act 
of the Australians the great Powers would see that they 
would have to reckon not with a small island whose relative 
consequence was decreasing daily, but with a mighty empire 
with a capacity for unbounded expansion, her naval fortunes 
duly supported in the four quarters of the globe, a new Eng- 
land growing daily in population and in wealth with incredible 
speed, and all parts of it combined in a passion of patriotism, 
with the natural cord of affinity to which the strongest 
political confederacy was as a rope of straw. A contingent of 
700 men was nothing in itself, but it was a specimen from an 
inexhaustible mine. To India too a lesson would be read, if 
any there were dreaming of another mutiny. It would be 
seen that the British rulers of India had a fresh reservoir of 
strength within striking distance. 

This sudden display of feeling had been recognised by the 
remarkable man who at the moment was at the helm in New 
South Wales, and being himself an earnest believer in Oceana, 
he saw an opportunity before him of bringing that splendid 
vision a step nearer to reality. Mr. Dalley knew as well as 
his opponents that he was running a risk. But for a great 
object great risks must be run. No great thing has ever been 
done in this world by a man who is afraid of responsibility. 
The present moment was his own. For the time, at least, he 
had the opinion of the Colony at his back. It might have 
been better perhaps to have deliberated longer safer for him 
to have called the Parliament together. But there was no 
time for either. The thing, if done at all, must be done 
immediately. The colony was in a fever of military prepara- 
tion ; all available stores were laid hands upon. The steamers 
in the harbour were secured with the most splendid indiffer- 
ence to expense. In the temper which men were in, five or 
six times the force could have been raised with equal ease if 
the occasion had required. Was the despatch of the Contin- 
gent a mere ridiculous outburst of vanity and sentiment 1 
Was it a wise and generous act, good in itself, and promising 
to lead in future to greater good I This was the question 
which all men were asking one another on the morning after 



51 OCEAN A 

our arrival in Sydney, and oar visit could not have fallen at a 
more interesting time. A gentleman at the club, Mr. Augustus 
Morris (I mention his name that I may thank him for many 
acts of politeness), was a friend of Mr. Dalley and volunteered 
after breakfast to introduce me to him. I was shy of intru- 
ding upon a man who was engaged in so large an affair and 
whose time was precious. Mr. Morris, however, undertook 
that Mr. Dalley would be glad to see me, and that my cal 
upon him would not be regarded with impatience. The Govern- 
ment offices a large and handsome range of buildings over- 
looking the Commercial harbour were but a few steps distant. 
It was still extremely hot. We found the acting-Premier 
in a spacious lofty room, the windows all open, himself at his 
table in his shirt-sleeves ; secretaries about him busy writing ; 
officers, civil and military, waiting instructions, and the 
Premier himself, the coolest-looking object in the apartment, 
giving out his instructions with an easy unembarrassed 
manner, as if organising expeditions had been the occupation 
of his life. Several minutes passed before he could attend to 
as, and I used them in looking closely at a man who was 
making, perhaps, an epoch in Colonial history. / Mr. Dalley 
was a short, thickset man of fifty or thereabouts, with strong 
neck, large head, a clear steady eye, and firmly shaped mouth 
and chin. The face was good-humoured, open, and generous. 
When he laughed it was heartily, without a trait of malice. 
The directions which I heard him giving were quiet but 
distinct, no words wasted, but the thing meant clearly said. 
He was evidently a strong man, but perhaps generally an in- 
dolent one, who might not think it worth while to exert him- 
self except on extraordinary occasions. In fact, he had not 
so far cared to take a leading part in Colonial politics. He 
was a successful lawyer. He was Attorney-General, but pro- 
fessionally too he had not been covetous of extensive business. 
He was a Roman Catholic, but a Catholic of the high culti 
vated and liberal type of which Cardinal Newman is the chief 
living representative. He had read largely, was a fine Italian 
scholar, a collector of pictures, an architect in short, a man 
it all point*, in whom the accident of his leader's ill-health 



MR. D ALLEY 153 

had, at a critical moment, placed the direction of the aflairs of 
the Colony. An anecdote a very touching one was men- 
tioned to me of his private life, which I hope that he will 
pardon me for mentioning. I was looking at a singularly 
pretty house overhanging the water, picturesque in itself and 
beautifully situated. 'That was Dalley's,' a friend observed 
to me. c He built it ; his wife died tEere, and he could never 
bear to enter it afterwards. It was sold, and he now lives, 
with his only child, at the other end of the harbour. He never 
thought of marrying again, and he never will.' 

This was the man whose leisure we were waiting for. Aa 
soon as he was able to speak to us, he was most kind and 
cordial, but of leisure he had very little. He said* a few words 
to me about the expedition, and seemed pleased with such 
answers as I could give ; but a dozen fresh people were wait- 
ing for his orders. \ ' You see how I am situated,' he said ; ' I 
cannot talk to you now, but I shall have other opportunities. 
We must make your stay at Sydney as pleasant as we can. 
What can we do for you this morning ? ' Mr. Morris suggested 
something. ' Yes, that will be the best,' he said ; ' we will send 
you round the harbour.' He called a servant, bade him order 
the Government steam-launch to be ready at the stairs in a 
quarter of an hour, and then dismissed us, to go on with his 
work. There, I thought to myself, is a man whom it is worth 
while to have come all this way to see. 

Mr. Morris kept us in charge. The launch duly appeared 
with the British flag at the stern a long, fast, handsome boat, 
the stern-seats comfortably, but not luxuriously, fitted, and an 
awning spread over them. A large basket of delicious black 
grapes was provided, as a corrective of the heat, and away we 
steamed eight or ten knots an hour, and making a breeze out 
of our own speed, to explore the recesses of the loveliest of all 
salt-water lakes. There are a few spots marked with white as 
we look back over the story of our lives with me chiefly 
landscapes of wood and water, or interviews with some superior 
man. This day stands among the brightest in my memory on 
both accounts, for I had seen Mr. Dalley, and next I saw Port 
Jackson We shot under the stern of the ' Nelson,' ran 



I $4 OCEAN A 

through the squadron, and skirted the shores of the public 
gardens, as beautiful from the sea as the sea was t>eautiful 
from them. We wound round the shallow bays, under the 
windows of palaces like Aladdin's. I inquired who might be 
the owner of one of these which was of exceptional magnifi- 
cence. Mr. Tooth, I was told, brother of the Mr. Tooth theo- 
logically famous some years ago in London, the family talent 
being many-sided and achieving distinction in more lines than 
one. The fine houses grew scarcer as we increased our distance 
from Sydney. The primitive forest was less invaded save by 
an occasional sea-mark or memorial column. Yachts and 
fishing- boats were round us. Sydney is a great place for 
yachting, in the still water and yet ample sea-room. The 
ship-channel narrows two miles within the Heads, and becomes 
intricate among hidden rocks and shoals. The passage between 
them has been selected as the point of defence, and we saw on 
either side among the hills the escarpments of modern batteries, 
on which, I believe, a few guns of heavy calibre are already 
mounted, and others are to follow. Turning in and out along 
the coast line we doubled the distance which we had to travel 
over. After an hour of fast-going we came in sight of the 
Heads, and exchanged tho lakelike stillness of the inland 
water for the ocean swell that rolled in between them. The 
sandstone cliffs now became more rugged from the fretting of 
the waves, projecting in overhanging shelves where the softer 
stone was eaten out below them. Trunks of dead trees stood 
bare and desolate among the fallen blocks. Had our launch 
been less ' tender,' we could have looked outside and perhaps 
caught a shark or two by trailing a baited line ; but she was 
already lurching heavily as we crossed the mouth and were 
broadside to the swell. We got into shelter again in a long 
deep inlet at the head of which was a beach of white sand and 
a number of good-looking cottages and houses, one of which 
belonged to Mr. Morris himself ; another and a larger on an 
eminence was the second house of Mr. Dalley, which he had 
again erected on his own design, Mr. Morris gave us luncheon, 
and afterwards we walked up to look at it, the owner being, 
M we knew, absent. It was a castle half finished ; built in 



SYDNEY HARBOUR *5J 

pieces, a room completed here, a turret there, with the inter- 
vals to be filled up at leisure. The exterior of the mansion 
was picturesque in its way, or promised to become so. The 
interior jarred a little on my bigoted Protestantism, for the 
walls of the living-rooms were covered either with fresco 
paintings or pictures and engravings, all of a neo-Catholic 
complexion. The view from the terrace was curious as well 
as magnificent for we could see across the sandy ridge at the 
head of the inlet into the open ocean. The distance was 
scarcely a quarter of a mile from sea to sea, and a second 
entrance into the harbour is very nearly formed there. 

Taking again to our launch we entered what might have 
been the mouth of a river, but is merely a deep estuary with 
long narrow reaches running for many miles between shores 
which became higher and bolder as we went on. Inlet opened 
out of inlet as with the fiords in Norway. The primeval 
eucalyptus forest was here undisturbed in its original con- 
dition ; the trees, some enormous, with distorted and fantastic 
stems, the foliage so luxuriant and so many-coloured that no 
painter could dare to imitate it. Sometimes we were in utter 
solitude ; sometimes we came suddenly on waterside hotel or 
boarding-house to which the Sydney people went for change 
of air. 

A cottage boldly placed behind a high crag hanging over 
the sea and half-concealed among rocks and trees, was the home 
of one of the professors of Sydney University. Then again 
we passed a group of tents where students were out on a read- 
ing party ; while between hollows in the hills we caught 
sight of the masts and spars of a ship lying at anchor in a 
bay, which by water might be a dozen miles from us and over 
the land might be a mile or less. 

Mr. Morris was the best of guides ; naturally, however, he 
had much to ask about our affairs at home. The morning's 
telegraph had brought news of General Earle's death, and 
Frederick Burnaby's, with many other officers'. What was to 
come of all that 1 Then again about the great Upas-tree 
policy 1 I could only tell him that this last had resulted so 
far in Ireland being put into a strait waistcoat, while the 



ISO OCEAN A 

English influence there had been ruined. Crimes had lessened, 
some people thought as a consequence of the concessions to 
Irish ideas, others thought from the waistcoat only ; but I 
would have preferred not to talk about so dreary a subject. 
We turned home after seeing about half of the wonders of the 
harbour, leaving the rest to another day. 

In the evening there was a dinner on board the ' Nelson,' 

where we found E again. The admiral is in person a 

giant, but, unlike most giants, a man of marked ability, a 
first-rate sailor, an accomplished and prude"nt administrator, a 
diplomat, dignified, courteous, cultivated, a gentleman in the 
finest sense of the word. His flag-captain Captain Lake, 
whom I had met in England dined with us, and several other 
officers. Among the guests was the Chief Justice, Sir James 
Martin, a stout, round-faced, remarkable old man, with the 
fine classical training which belonged to the last generation of 
distinguished lawyers, and well read in the best modern litera- 
ture. Sir James has filled successively aU the highest posts in 
the Colony, and all with eminent success. He was a brilliant 
talker, and I sat with him alone after coflee, in the stern 
gallery, hearing his opinions on many interesting subjects : 
Greek and Roman literature, modern poetry, modern philo- 
sophy, and then naturally modern democracy with its causes 
and tendencies. Again, as at Melbourne, I perceived that in 
respect of intellectual eminence the mother-country has no 
advantage over the colonies. If Sir James Martin had been 
Chief Justice of England, he would have passed as among the 
most distinguished occupants of that high position ; and I 
should say that the Australian colonies, in proportion to their 
population, have more eminent men than we have. The 
English race, wherever it is planted, is of the same natural 
texture, but the development depends on the conditions of 
life and the intellectual atmosphere, England in the sixteenth 
century contained greater statesmen, greater poets, greater 
seamen, and probably greater lawyers, than she has produced 
at any time since, because the nation was in full health, and 
was occupied with great subjects. The mental occupations of 
the Australian colonists are probably much of the same sort 



THE CHIEF JUSTICE 157 

as ours. But they breathe a freer air. The material race of 
life is less severe, and they are less harassed with vulgar 
anxieties. If intellect is the eye of the mind, and, like the eye, 
is good or bad as the images which it forms of things correctly 
represent the truth of the things themselves, I should not 
wonder if the few elect among them had more of this quality 
than we have. 

Sir James Martin, though one of the chief persons in a 
progressive and democratic community, did not seem to believe 
that either progress or democracy was about to work any 
miracles in the alteration of human character. They had to be 
accepted like all other facts, when brought on by the nature of 
things, but were not therefore either to be particularly rejoiced 
over, or particularly hated. On the whole, democracy worked 
like galvanism in disintegrating the existing conditions of 
human society ; but human society occasionally fell into a 
state when disintegration could not be helped. Constitutional 
government in the colonies was full of anomalies. It might 
have been better if, instead of leaving the colonists to govern 
themselves, we had been careful to send out efficient governors, 
who would have attended to colonial opinion, and ruled firmly, 
with no consideration of anything but each colony's good. A 
monarchy, when there was security that the monarch himself 
should be a wise man, was the best of all forms of government. 
But as things stood at present, this was out of the question. As 
long as the colonies were under the authority of Downing Street, 
and Downing Street was under the authority of the British 
Parliament, it was impossible that the affairs of the colonies 
would receive anything like fair and impartial consideration, 
or that the persons selected to conduct their affairs would 
always be the wisest that could be found. The policy which 
would be adopted would be measured, not with a view to the 
good of the colony, but to party advantage nt home. In fact, 
a country under a parliament could govern itself more or less 
ill, but could not govern other countries, and the system had 
to end. All causes of disagreement between the mother- 
country and its dependencies were now removed ; nothing but 
good-will need exist between them, and the closer nnion on 



I $8 OCEAN A 

another basis, which so many practical men regard <ts a dream, 
Sir James seemed to look at as the natural outgrowth of our 
present relations. He not only had formed considerable hopes 
that confederation would be brought about, but he anticipated 
that it might turn to the spiritual advantage of the whole of 
us, and help to disenchant us of the empty wind and nonsense 
to which we were at present given over. So long as ' progress,' 
et cetera, was mere talk, it was contemptible, but might be 
borne with ; but issuing now as it was doing in Soudan mas- 
sacres, Irish anarchy, and a second Ireland growing in South 
Africa, it deserved the hatred and indignation of all serious 
men. The celebrated person whom we have chosen as our 
chief leader and representative in this adventure is no favourite 
in Australia. He and his amazing popularity were mere 
subjects of astonishment to Sir James, as they are, so far as 
my travels extend, wherever the British language is spoken. 
Leaders of another type would rule in a United Oceana. 

It was interesting to me to remember where I was sitting. 
It was democracy which had brought about these ugly features 
democracy, which had invaded all other departments of the 
State, but had stopped short at the man-of-war. On the fleet 
the noisiest demagogue of us knew that our salvation depended; 
and as the fleet required to be a fact which would stand hard 
blows, there at least the old order and the old principles of 
authority were allowed to remain. A ship of war administered 
on elective and representative principles would not be a dan- 
gerous combatant. There would perhaps be a corresponding 
improvement if a nation was administered as a ship of war. 
Such England once was. Such, perhaps, she will one day be 
again, when she has delivered herself from a condition in 
which a majority in an election or in a House of Commons 
division is exulted over as a victory over a domestic enemy, 
and national honour, national integrity, even national interest 
are second to the triumph of party. 

The admiral spoke to me afterwards about a matter of 
which I have already said something : the navy or navies of 
the colonies. Indirect overtures seemed to have l>een made to 
him for some change in the arrangements now existing. He 



THE COLONIAL NAVY 159 

could not himself entertain these overtures, but they had been 
referred to the Admiralty at home, and the matter itself was 
a considerable one The Russian scare was not yet at the 
acute stage, but the appearance of things was threatening. If 
war came, Australia would be exposed to serious danger. The 
colonists were anxious, and the state of the defences both 
on land and sea was not at all satisfactory. The admiral 
will have given his own views to the Jiome authorities. I 
can myself only explain the bearings or the situation as I 
learnt them from general conversation. The Colonial Govern 
ments, when started on their own account, were expected 
to provide themselves with armed vessels adequate to their 
own defence, which in time of war were to be under the 
command of the admiral of the station. They were to be 
themselves responsible for the equipment and maintenance of 
these vessels in a condition fit for service, and they have done, 
perhaps, all that it was in their power to do. We have our- 
selves given them the nucleus of a navy, in ships which we 
could afford to part with. They have been furnished with 
trained officers from home. Whether they have built or 
bought ships of their own I do not know. But let them do 
what they will, they have enormous difficulties to contend 
with. In countries where the executive is weak, where wages 
are high, and the demand for labour so constant, where every 
man is accustomed to be his own master, and unrestrained 
liberty is a special privilege of their present mode of existence 1 
it is almost impossible to keep efficient crews together and 
maintain the necessary discipline. The naval department is 
extremely expensive in proportion to the results which it can 
achieve, and although the spirit of the colonists can be relied 
upon at any moment of emergency, a squadron fit to go to sea 
cannot be extemporised in a hurry. The Colonial Legislature 
cannot be expected to spend very large sums annually on a 
service which in time of peace has no duties to discharge. 
The consequence is that the ships, however good in themselves, 
are not and cannot be kept in readiness for immediate action. 
In these days warnings are short. A serious danger, it u 
morally certain, would find every one of our great colonies 

M 



160 OCEANA 

unprepared to meet it, and the duty of defending the colonial 
ports a duty which could not be declined would fall, after 
all, on the mother-country. The colonists are generous enough 
to feel that the mother-country is thus not treated fairly. It 
is a state of things which cannot and must not continue, and 
this being so, the same suggestion had been made (I believe by 
responsible persons) to the admiral which had been mentioned 
to me at Adelaide and Melbourne, that the colonies the 
Australian colonies at any rate should make an estimate of 
the present cost of their ships, and pay it as a subsidy to the 
British Admiralty, on condition that an effective squadron or 
squadrons should be kept always in Australian waters. 

In addition to the immediate object in view, the security of 
Sydney and Melbourne, a joint interest in the fleet would be a 
long step so long that another would hardly be needed 
towards Imperial Confederation. The cords that hold Oceana 
together may be slight in appearance if they are woven of 
seaman's hemp, but no hemp is better spun than the Admiralty 
ropes with the red thread at their heart. The union with 
Australia would be at once a visible fact, and that in a form 
which would leave no opening for interference with colonial 
autonomy. The misgiving in New South Wales was that the 
Imperial Government, being committed to the doctrinal theory 
of colonial independence, would refuse to listen to the proposal. 
I do not know whether the subject has yet been brought 
officially before either the Admiralty or the Colonial Office, or 
how many of the colonies, or whether any, have put their 
wishes into formal shape. The advances, of course, must come 
from them. The expression of a desire on our part for such 
an arrangement would be construed into a design for levying 
a revenue on them, and would be met at once by suspicion and 
jealousy. The act must be their own, if it is to take effect at 
all. We have given them free control of their own affairs, 
and it is not for us to ask for part of it again. But, in my 
own poor opinion, if the Australian colonies do of their own 
free accord propose such conditions, the ministry responsible 
for rejecting them will leave a sinister record of themselves iu 
English history 



SIR ALFRED STEPHEN 161 

Many gentlemen were good enough to call on me in the 
next few days ; one of them. Sir Alfred Stephen, Deputy- 
Governor of the Colony, and near kinsman of our own dis- 
tinguished Sir James. Any Stephen could not fail to be 
interesting. I was out when he came to the club, but I 
returned his visit at the earliest moment. I found a bright- 
eyed, humorous old man, whose intellect, though he was over 
eighty, advanced years had not yet begun to touch, and whose 
body they had touched but lightly ; for eye and cheek kept 
their colour, and the step was still elastic and the voice keen 
and clear. I could trace no resemblance in the actual features 
to our English Stephens, yet, with the knowledge of the rela- 
tionship, I fancied a likeness of expression, and certainly in 
mind and temper there was very great likeness indeed. Sir 
Alfred was not given to sentimental views of things. On the 
bench he was famous for the straightforward view which he 
took of rogues. ' The law is far too indulgent to such people,' 
he said. Yet there was no harshness about him, or needless 
severity. He had the family perception of the ridiculous and 
humorous side of things, and was full of pity for all who 
deserved it, and for a great many more that didn't. His talk 
with me was most amusing, chiefly on his old English recollec- 
tions. He had been brought up in the ' Clapham sect,' and 
had known their chief notabilities. He had himself once boxed 
Sam Wilberforce's ears for impudence. He remembered old 
Wilberforce one day talking intolerable nonsense, and a great- 
uncle of his who was unable to bear it breaking a couple of 
eggs on old Wilberforce's head. He had thought much on 
serious subjects. Most men's minds petrify by middle age, 
and are incapable of new impressions. Sir Alfred's mind had 
remained fluid. He had held by the Clapham theory of things 
till he found the bottom break out of it. He disliked especially 
the irreverent acquaintance with the intentions of Providence 
to which conventionally religious people pretend. His reputa- 
tion in the colony is of the very highest, and it is a reputation 
which no one envies and is cheerfully conceded. If you ask 
Sydney people who their greatest man is, nine out of ten of 
them will say Stephen. Ho has been at the head of his own 

M 2 



163 OCEANA 

profession for half his life; he has filled the highest offices in 
the Colony, and has been universally honoured and respected. 
The family will not die out in New South Wales. He has 
several sons, all of whom are making their way, and some are 
already distinguished. He was himself a beautiful old man, 
whom it was a delight to have seen. Unhappily it was but 
once, and only for an hour, as he was called off on business to 
Melbourne, and thought as little of the journey of four hundred 
miles as if he had been starting on his first circuit. 

Afterwards, in New Zealand, I fell in with a brother of 
Sir Alfred's, Mr. Milner Stephen, also a very noticeable person. 
In him the hereditary spiritual tendencies had drifted into 
technical spiritualism. He professed, and evidently believed 
himself, to have acquired the apostolic power of working 
miracles. He was willing to cure you of any disorder what- 
ever by some simple methods, which he was ready also to teach 
you to exercise if you cared to learn them not, of course, 
gratuitously. I suppose he thought that those who ministered 
at the altar must live by the altar. I did not see any instance 
of his power, but his look and manner were lively and clever. 

Admiral Tryon was most hospitable. The ' Nelson ' was 
always open to us for dinner, luncheon, and on Sunday for 
service. She is not an ironclad. If she goes into action, shot 
and shell will find free passage through her ; but she is a 
magnificent ship of immense beam, and a fit symbol of England's 
naval greatness. Sunday afternoons were holidays. On board, 
the seamen were off duty and lay about, reading or otherwise 
amusing themselves. On shore there was the same disposition 
as at home to walk or lounge in the parks and gardens. It is a 
good opportunity for seeing the Sydney people at their average 
best. On Sunday, in the public park, I saw a number of black 
groupa, gathered as with us round persons who were addressing 
them. I went from group to group, to hear what was going 
on. It was Battersea or Hyde Park over again. At one wag 
a temperance orator, clamorous for local option j at another 
ft ' nigger,' eloquent on the way of salvation ; at a third ft 
Wesleyan minister or school teacher declaiming on the same 
ubject. The crowd listened respectfully, but languidly, 



GROWTH OF SYDNEY 163 

brightening up, however, when the addresses were exchanged 
for one of Sankey's hymns. One thing struck me especially, 
both here and at Melbourne, that there was no provincialism, 
either formed or tending to form. One county in England 
differs from another county. Devonshire has one voice and 
manner, and Yorkshire another voice and manner. The 
Devonshire man and the Yorkshire man can scarcely under- 
stand each other when they are eager and fall into dialect. 
The Australians speak all pure English as it is taught in 
schools. There are no local distinctions among themselves. 
There is no general tone, like the American, that my ear could 
detect. I could not tell whether to be pleased or not at 
this. On the one side it showed how English they yet were ; 
on the other, it indicated that they were still in the imitative 
stage. Original force and vigour always tend to make a form 
for themselves, after their own likeness. 

Though I care less for places than for people, I made ex- 
cursions in the neighbourhood of Sydney and drove over the 
city itself. T saw the villas on the bay, with their fairylike 
gardens. Invitations were kindly sent to me to stay in various 
houses. The ' glory of hospitality,' which Camden speaks of 
as in his time decaying in England, has revived among the 
colonists. They are proud of their country and like to show it 
off, and they welcome anyone who comes to them from the old 
home. I had many persons to see, however, and much to do, 
and the club remained my headquarters. Sydney is antique 
for Australia ; it is nearly a hundred years old, with the 
foundations of it laid in a penal settlement. The convict traces 
have long disappeared, but you can see, in the narrow and 
winding streets in the business quarter, that it is not a modern 
town, which has been built mechanically and laid out upon a 
plan, but that it has grown in the old English fashion. There 
are handsome streets, with grand fronts and arcades, and 
there are lanes and alleys as in London, with dull, unsightly 
premises, where nevertheless active business is going on. Trees 
are planted wherever there is room for them, and there ia 
ample breathing ground in the parks. After various fortunes 
trade IB now developing with extreme rapidity, and the 



164 OCEANA 

ambition of the inhabitants is growing along with it. The 
tonnage of the vessels which now annually enter and leave 
the port of Sydney exceeds the tonnage of the Thames in the 
first year of our present Queen. As in London, the city 
proper on the edge of the harbour is given up to warehouses, 
commercial chambers and offices, banks and public buildings. 
In the daytime it is thronged. In the evening the hive 
empties itself, and merchants, clerks, and workmen stream 
away by railway or ferry to their suburban houses. Property 
rises fast in value, and the ' unearned increment ' is in no 
danger from Socialistic politicians. Capital frightened away 
by recent experiments from England and Ireland is flowing 
fast into these countries, and house property in Sydney is being 
sought after for investment. I examined various blocks of 
buildings which had been purchased recently for a friend of 
my own, which yield him now six per cent, after all expenses 
lave been deducted, and must inevitably grow more and 
more valuable. The houses of the wealthy and moderately 
wealthy classes are solid and well-looking. The working 
people, who in late years have flocked into the place in such 
numbers, are accommodated in more makeshift fashion. Whole 
villages have sprung up lately in the environs, made of mere 
boards and corrugated iron, slatternly sheds rather than human 
habitations, and without the plantations and flowers about 
them which had been universal in Victoria. But this is per- 
haps a temporary accident which a few more years will mend. 

We went out one day to Paramatta, the original seat of 
the Government when Sydney was no more than a landing- 
place. It is a strange mixture of old and new walls and 
gables of English manor-houses of the type of the last century, 
with big gateways and oak avenues, the oaks the largest that 
I had seen in Australia ; the spot still shown where an over- 
rash governor, driving four-in-hand, upset his carriage and 
killed his lady. Antiquarian interests of this kind stand side 
by side with painted and gilded modern streets, telling of 
money-making and what is called enterprise. 

The Paramatta river is navigable as far as the town. The 
rite was chosen for the ' Residence,' I suppose, for the same 



AUSTRALIAN TEMPERAMENT 165 

reason which, Thucydides says, led the Greeks to build their 
cities up creeks and inlets to be safe from visits from priva- 
teers. Buccaneers are gone ; the successors of Kidd and 
Blackman now work in stealthier ways. Paramatta has sunk 
into a suburb of Sydney, and the river is now chiefly famous 
as the scene of the champion boat-races. We had gone out by 
rail ; we returned in a steamer. The stream at the huad of 
the tideway is about the breadth of the Thames at Richmond, 
and of a dirty brown colour, like most of the Australian rivers, 
from the alluvial soil which they bring down. The banks 
were at first low and swampy, fringed with some kind of 
willow, with high wooded hills behind, which as we descended 
came nearer to the river, and at last on one side touched it, 
rising picturesquely out of the water which opened into a 
wide estuary. The scene was pretty enough. Cranes and 
other waders stalked about the mud-flats. Cottages appeared 
on the slopes with orchards and vineyards. We stopped at 
some platform every mile, where brightly dressed women and 
children came on board, with grapes and fruit for the Sydney 
market. On long wooded peninsulas large houses began to 
show among the trees, some of them rising to the dignity of 
'places,' or even palaces; the utterly wild and the utterly 
civilised brought close together, fancy pleasure-grounds ad- 
joining the primitive jungle. The Sydney people are much 
given to picnics. In one of the wildest spots we came on two 
steamer-loads of young gentlemen and ladies who had landed, 
and were scattered about in pairs, the pink parasols and green 
and blue dresses shining among the rocks and bushes, the 
artificial flowers of modern society dropped strangely into the 
primeval forest. 

All human beings have their deficiencies. The deficiency of 
the Sydney colonists is one which they share at present with a 
large part of the civilised world that they have no severe 
intellectual interests. They aim at little except what money 
will buy ; and to make money and buy enjoyment with it is 
the be-all and the end-all of their existence. They are 
courteous and polite, as well to one another as to strangers, 
in a degree not common in democracies. They are energetic 



166 OCEANA 

in bringing out the material wealth of the soil. They have 
churches and schools and a university, and they talk and think 
much of education, <bc. They study sanitary questions, and 
work hard to improve the health of their city, and to keep 
their bay unpolluted. They are tunnelling out a gigantic 
sewer through several miles of rock and clay, to carry the 
refuse of the town to the open ocean. But it is only to 
conquer the enemies of material comfort, that their own lives 
may be bright and pleasant. ' Woe to those that are at ease 
in Zion ! ' the prophet cried. Was this the language of a true 
seer t or the complaint of a sour dyspeptic, who grudged to 
others the enjoyment denied to himself f It is hard to quarrel 
with men who only wish to be innocently happy. And out of 
this very wish there is growing a taste for art which in time 
may come to something considerable. They have a picture 
gallery of considerable merit. Mr. Montefiore (a relation of 
Sir Moses) took me to see it. There are many good water- 
colour sketches of Australian scenery by Sydney artists, one 
or two fair oil landscapes, with an admirable collection of 
engravings and casts from the finest classical works. I 
especially admired a set of drawings which showed real 
genius. I inquired for the hand which had executed them, 
and I learnt, to my surprise, that it was Mr. Montefiore's own. 
He had been modestly silent about his own accomplishments, 
and only my accidental question had led him to speak of him- 
self. Yet with the exception of two or three leading lawyers 
and the more eminent statesmen, there were no persons that I 
met with who showed much concern about the deeper spiritual 
problems, in the resolution of which alone man's life rises into 
greatness. They have had one poet Gordon something too 
much of the Guy Livingstone type, an inferior Byron, a wild 
rider, desperate, dissipated, but with gleams of a most noble 
nature shining through the turbid atmosphere. He, poor 
fellow, hungering after what Australia could not give him 
what perhaps no country on earth at present could give him 
had nothing to do but to shoot himself, which he accordingly 
did. Our stepmother Nature grudges to individuals and to 
nations too -unbroken prosperity. She has a whip for the 



EXCEPTIONAL CONDITIONS 167 

backs of most of us, and insists on our learning lessons which 
nothing but suffering will teach. Left wholly to themselves 
to work out their own destiny, the Australian colonies might 
have to fight for their liberties against invaders, or, as most 
other mutually independent communities living side by side 
have done, might fall out among themselves. Ambitious men 
would force their way to the front, aspire to dictatorship, or 
covet their neighbours' territories. Nations are but enlarged 
schoolboys. The smallest trifle will bring about a quarrel be- 
tween rival adjoining states, as long as it is undecided which 
of them is the strongest. It has always been so from the 
Greek democracies to the Italian republics or the Spanish 
states in modern South America. Or, again, they would have 
their war of classes, their internal revolutions, their dreams of 
a millennium to be brought about by political convulsions. 
These are Nature's methods of disciplining human character 
and bringing us to know that life is not all a holiday. Out of 
such struggles great men have risen and great nations, and, so 
far as we know, greatness cannot be purchased at any lower 
price. For the English colonies there is no such school yet 
opened, nor while they remain attached to us on the present 
terms can such a school ever be opened. 

Fortunati nimium spa ai bona nSrint, 

We must ourselves be a broken power before a stranger 
can invade Australia or New Zealand. Revolutions and in- 
ternal wars are not permitted to them as long as they are 
British dependencies. They have no foreign policy, no diplo- 
matists, no intercourse with the political circles in other parts 
of the world, to call out their intellect or extend their inter- 
ests beyond their own shores. For the immortal part of 
them, concern for which in other ages has raised peasants into 
heroes and students into saints as to this they are no better 
off than the rest of us. Religion has become a matter of 
opinion, a thing about which nothing certain can be known, 
and on which, therefore, it is idle and unbecoming to be 
dogmatic or violent. Individuals have their personal convic- 
tions, strong enough and sincere enough to make their lives 



i*8 OCEANA 

holy and beautiful ; but Church and creed have ceased to be 
factors in the commonwealth. The laws by which we regulate 
the conduct of our affairs are learnt from earthly experience, 
and would be equally necessary and equally expedient if we 
were consciously and avowedly without notions of religion at 
all. A faith for which men were ready to sacrifice life and 
fortune was powerful to fill their existence, and give dignity 
to any position and any occupation. Our beliefs no longer 
exercise such an all-absorbing, all-pervading influence. The 
serious side of our nature requires other objects both for con- 
templation and for action, if it ia not to rust in us unused ; 
and in this respect, and for the present, we have the colonists 
at advantage ; we have our national concerns to look after, 
and our national risks to run, and therefore our thoughts and 
anxieties are enlarged. They have none of these interests ; 
their situation does not allow it. They will have good lawyers 
among them, good doctors, good men of science, engineers, 
merchants, manufacturers, as the Romans had in the decline 
of the Empire. But of the heroic type of man, of whom 
poets will sing and after ages be anxious to read, there will not 
be so many, when the generation is gone which was born and 
bred in the old world. Such men are not wanted, and would 
have no work cut out for them. Happy, it is often said, the 
country which has no history. Growing nations may pass 
their childhood in obscurity and amusement, but the neutral 
condition cannot last for ever. They must emerge out of it 
in some way, or they might as well never have existed. The 
rising Australians are ' promising young men.' If they mean 
to be more, they must either be independent, or must be 
citizens of Oceana. 

Meanwhile party followed party, and we had more invita- 
tions than we could accept. One evening we dined with Sir 
Wigram Allen, the late Speaker in the House of Assembly, a 
man of vast wealth, one of the millionaires of Sydney. His 
house, three miles out of town, was like the largest and most 
splendid of the Putney or Boehampton villas. There was a 
large gathering of distinguished people, legal and political 
magnates ; ladies dressed as well, perhaps as expensively, at 



DINNER PARTIES 169 

the ladies of New York, some of them witty, all pretty, and 
one or two more than pretty. The cuisine would have done 
credit to the Palais Royal. The conversation was smart, a 
species of an intellectual lawn tennis which the colonists play 
well. There were as many attendants as you would find in a 
great house at home, with the only difference that they wore 
no livery. Liveries might, indeed, as well be dropped every- 
where. They are a relic of feudalism, when the vassal wore 
his lord's colours. In democratic communities, where there 
are no vassals, and a lord's coronet is often a fool's cap, they 
are exotics which can be dispensed with ; and, indeed, no man 
with a respect for himself, and with no further connection 
with his master than a contract to do certain services hanging 
at so loose an end that he may be hired one month and dis- 
missed the next, ought to submit to be dressed like a parrot. 
In Australia, any way, they have parrots enough in the woods, 
and do not introduce them into their households. Sir Henry 
Parkes was among the guests, and the editor of the Sydney 
paper to whom he had before introduced me. I found the 
latter a man of superior education, correct in all his thoughts, 
right-minded even to the extent of rigidity, but wanting in 
lightness, and taking all subjects on their solemn side. The 
person whom I liked best was Lady Allen's father, a beautiful 
old clergyman of eighty -two, who told me that he had read all 
my books, that he disapproved deeply of much that he had 
found in them, but that he had formed, notwithstanding, a 
sort of regard for the writer. He followed me into the hall 
when we went away, and gave me his blessing. Few gifts 
have ever been bestowed on me in this world which I have 
valued more. Sir Wigram Allen, I regret to see, is since 
dead ; the life and spirits which were flowing over so freely 
that night, all now quenched and silent ! He could not have 
had a better friend near him at the moment of departure than 
that venerable old man. 

Another evening we dined with the Chief Justice. Mr. 
Dalley was present, and several distinguished members of the 
Sydney bench and bar. There were no ladies. Lawyers are 
always good company. They have large experience of life 



170 OCEANA 

and endless entertaining anecdotes. They are mainly occupied 
with the questionable side of human nature, but on the whole 
take a genial view of it. In the hardest stone, in the mud- 
diest clay, there are often veins of gold. The lawyer neither 
hates men nor particularly loves them, but takes them as they 
are and understands them. Priests in Catholic countries who 
receive many confessions acquire a similar tolerance. You 
cannot hear acknowledgments of immoralities day after day 
from the most unexpected quarters and fall into convulsions 
of distress over them. A fervent convert once told me that 
the Church was the only body which understood how to treat 
sin therapeutically. 

The more I saw of Sir James Martin the more I esteemed 
and admired him. His face is full of humour. His manner 
is bright and rapid. He has been a great official, but the man 
is more. If there was an interchange, as there ought to be, 
between the mother-country and the colonies, in the promotion 
and employment of their eminent men, Sir James would be as 
well known and as much valued in London as he now is in 
New South Wales. 

Mr. Dalley was preoccupied and talked but little. His 
conversation is usually careless and brilliant. That evening, 
to my regret, he sat silent. The anxieties of the Suakin 
expedition were apparently weighing upon him, and it was 
quite right that they should. He was doing a considerable 
thing, with far-reaching consequences for good or evil. No 
one could say which it would be. Mr. Dalley was risking his 
position and his reputation for what he conceived to be the 
good of his country ; and we live in days when to run risks 
for anything except our own advantage is far from common, 
and when ventured is still more rarely understood. Political 
critics who are not conscious of such impulses in themselves 
are impatient of the pretence of them in others. They suspect 
always that behind the alleged patriotic motive there lies a 
sinister personal motive. We interpret other people's natures 
by what we know of our own ; and public men, if they would 
be safe, must keep to the common level and venture nothing 
which cannot be interpreted by the average selfishness. The 



MOSS VALE 171 

expedition went, and has returned. So far as its immediate 
object went it accomplished nothing, for it arrived only in 
time to see the war abandoned. If in its higher aspect, as an 
exhibition of the affectionate feeling of the Australians to the 
mother- country, it continues to be remembered and appreciated 
in England, it has accomplished an end in comparison with 
which the war was nothing, and it may prove the seed of in- 
numerable benefits. If, on the other hand, there comes of it 
only polite words of meaningless applause, and then oblivion, 
Mr. Dalley's patriotism will have spent itself in vain. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Visit to Moss Vale Lord Augustas Loftus Position of a Governor in Nvr 
South Wales Lady Augustus Chinese servants English newspapers 
Dinner-party conversations A brave and true bishop Sydney Harbour 
once more Conversation with Mr. Dalley on Imperial Federation Objec- 
tions to proposed schemes The Navy The English flag. 

LATE hours, fine cookery, and agreeable society are very plea- 
sant, but less wholesome than one could wish them to be. 
The town became insufferably hot. My mosquito-bites refused 
to heal, and some change was desirable. The Governor, who 
had already asked me to visit him in his highland quarters, 
graciously renewed his invitation. His aide-de-camp assured 
me that it was meant in earnest, and that Lord Augustus 
Loftus would be disappointed if we left the country without 
seeing him, so we agreed to go. 

Moss Vale, the summer residence of the Governor of New 
South Wales, is a hundred miles from Sydney. Why it is 
called Vale I do not know, for it stands on the brow of an 
eminence two thousand feet above the sea. It corresponds to 
Mount Macedon in Victoria, save that, instead of being in 
the midst of forests, it is surrounded with rolling grassy 
uplands, thickly sprinkled with trees, sheep, and cattle-farms, 
<kc., and long ago taken up and appropriated. The house has 
been lately purchased by the colony for the Governor's use. 



lya OCEANA 

It is small, considering the dignity of its destination, and is 
unfinished within and without. Like all other country places 
in Australia, it is well protected by plantations. Pines and 
fruit-trees grow with great rapidity, and when an Australian 
means to build a house, his first step is to sow acorns and fir- 
cones. To those who were fond of riding, the situation of 
Moss Yale was perfect, as the green turf stretched out into 
infinity. Otherwise in the locality itself there was little to 
interest. The change of climate was delightful. It was like 
passing from the tropics to the temperate zone. But Lord 
Augustus himself was the chief attraction. The railway 
brought us within five miles of the place, and we found a 
carriage waiting there to take us on. I had known a brother 
of Lord Augustus long ago ; himself I had never fallen in 
with. I found him sitting under the trees at the door of a 
tent, which served as a retreat in hot weather ; a most 
gracious, courtier-like old gentleman, nearer perhaps to seventy 
than sixty. He had been employed from early youth in the 
diplomatic service. He had been ambassador at St. Peters- 
burg, at Vienna, at Berlin. He had been intimate with the 
three great emperors. He had been in daily intercourse with 
Bismarck, Gortschakoff, Andrassy. His occupation had been 
with the higher politics of Europe, and his private life had 
been passed in the most accomplished, wittiest, and worldliest 
society to be met with at present on the globe. It was a 
strange fate which sent such a man in his old days to preside 
over a constitutional colony, in the midst of men whose aims, 
interests, and ways of thinking must have been absolutely un- 
known to him ; members, all of them, of the great British 
middle class, with whom, neither on the Continent nor at 
homo, he was ever likely to have been thrown. Those who 
have lived in Courts have learned to breathe the air of Courts, 
and their lungs are fitted for no other. Lord Augustus in 
New South Wales might easily have been as ill off as Ovid 
found himself in Thrace. 

But a trained and sensible man is not long at a loss, what- 
ever be the situation in which he finds himself. Lord Augustus 
accepted his destiny and loyally conformed to it He had 



LORD AUGUSTUS LOFTUS 173 

not, perhaps, found his work particularly congenial. But 
with his knowledge of men he could not fail to discern the 
essential worth of the politicians by whom he was surrounded j 
and a far feebler imagination would have been struck with the 
work which the English race was carrying through in the 
Colony. At the time when he was sent out, the theory was 
still in fashion among leading statesmen that the connection 
with the Colonies was wearing out and was soon to be severed ; 
and so long as the impression prevailed, a far-off settlement 
could not be looked upon as an organic part of England. 
Lord Augustus might regret a policy which outside the circle 
of the Economic Radicals appeared as unwise as it was un- 
gracious. It was a policy which he was not required to 
promote actively either by word or deed. His duty was to 
be guided by his constitutional advisers, and no one had 
complained that he had transgressed the lines laid down for 
him. But the position was not an exciting one ; the change 
from the cabinets of Ministers who were deciding the fate of 
nations to the local interests of a remote dependency was 
almost ridiculous; and if New South Wales and the other 
Australian provinces were so near to their final separation 
from us, if they were held to be of so little value that their 
departure from the parent nest would be rather a relief than 
a loss, the Governor could be no more than a spectator of the 
development of a community in which he had but a transitory 
concern. 

Of late, however, there had been a revulsion of feeling at 
home. The attachment of the Colonies had been proof against 
the hints and exhortations to take themselves away. The 
anti-colonial policy had been confined after all to a school of 
doctrinaires, and the English people became acquainted with 
the evil intentions of these gentlemen only to repudiate them 
with indignation. A candidate for Parliament had found 
that to win or keep his seat he must stand up for Imperial 
unity, and the discovery had worked a wholesome revolution 
in the views of many aspiring Liberals. Mr. Dalley's action 
in the despatch of the contingent, and the recognition which 
it had met with, had improved the chances still further, and 



174 OCR AN A 

Lord Augustus had begun to take a deeper interest in the 
fortunes of his temporary subjects. He could now talk about 
Australia eagerly and hopefully. He had studied its history, 
he knew its resources ; he could estimate the probable future 
of the Australian colonies themselves, and perceive the enor- 
mous and indefinite strength which they must add eventually 
to the British Empire if they remained a part of it. He 
understood none could understand better how the influence 
of England was no longer what it had been in European 
politics. If England was ' effaced ' as the saying went, it 
was because she was effacing herself. Germans, Russians, 
Americans were adding yearly to their numbers, and they 
had boundless territory in which millions could mature into 
wholesome manhood. England might add to her numbers, 
but to her an increasing population was not strength but 
weakness. England was already full to overflowing, and by 
taking thought could add no acre to the area which nature 
had assigned to her ; she had her colonies, and in her colonies 
she had soil, air, climate, all she needed to eclipse every rival 
that envied her ; but she was flinging them away in disdainful 
negligence, or alienating them as she had alienated Ireland, 
and the fate before her was to dwindle away into a second 
Holland. These were the anticipations which Lord Augustus 
had seen growing in the minds of the keen-eyed continental 
statesmen, and now it seemed as if they might be disappointed 
after all. Mr. Dalley's action might prove the first active 
step towards the reversal of a policy which had it continued 
a few years longer would have undone us for ever. 

It was pleasant to talk the subject over with an old 
diplomat, who, like Ulysses, ' had been in many cities and 
known the thoughts of many men.' These experienced old 
stagers see farther and wider than English parliamentary 
politicians, for it is the very nature of ' party ' that party 
leaders shall never see things as they really are, but only as 
they affect for the moment the interests of one section of the 
community. They are as men who, having two eyes given 
them by nature, deliberately extinguish one. There is the 
point of view from the ' right ' and the point of view from the 



LADY AUGUSTUS 175 

k left,' and from each, from the nature and necessity of the 
case, only half the truth can be seen. A wise man keeps 
both his eyes, belongs to no party, and can see things as they 
are. 

The share in the official duties which fell to Lady Augustus 
was, perhaps, heavier than her husband's. He, as a man of 
the world, could accommodate himself to any circumstances and 
any persons, and as soon as colonial politics put on a grander 
character he could find pleasure and honour in being associated 
with their expanding aims. On her fell the obligation of 
giving balls and dinners, of entertaining the miscellaneous 
multitude which constitutes Sydney society ; and there are 
some women, and those perhaps of finest quality, to whom the 
presiding in public ceremonies of this kind, in any sphere and 
among any kind of guests, is naturally uncongenial. Lady 
Augustus was (and is) a woman whose intellectual powers 
have been cultivated into unusual excellence. The finest 
pictures in the drawing-room at Government House were 
her work. There was one especially which I saw a group 
of seamen on a raft in the ocean catching sight of a distant 
sail, which so admirable it was, both in conception and ex- 
ecution would have made a sensation in the Royal Academy 
Exhibition. But she had lived in another world. In her 
youth she must have been strikingly handsome. Now she 
had sons grown to manhood, and out in the world in various 
professions. She had delicate health, and it was late in life 
for her to take up with a new round of interests. She was 
admired and respected in the Colony, but her stately manners 
alarmed more than they attracted, and I could easily believe 
when I was told of it that she was not generally popular. 
The few who could see through the reserve into the nature 
which lay below would delight in being admitted into intimacy 
with her. But vice-queens (and the Governor is a quasi- 
sovereign) cannot have intimates. They are expected to be 
universally gracious and universal graciousness is perhaps 
only possible to the insincere, or the commonplace, or to the 
supremely great and fortunate. 

In her own house and to her private guests Lady Augustus 

N 



176 OCEANA 

was a most charming hostess. In her charge I was driven 
round the neighbourhood, saw interesting stations, farms, 
country houses, and country neighbours ; but her own conver- 
sation was always the best part of the entertainment. One 
morning at breakfast she amused as with an account of a 
young Chinaman who was employed in the garden. In New 
South Wales there would soon be as many Chinese as there 
are in San Francisco, if they were encouraged to settle there. 
They are quiet, patient, industrious, never give any trouble, 
and if the prejudices against them could only be got over, 
would be useful in a thousand ways. But one never knows 
exactly what is inside a Chinaman. His face has no change 
of expression. He smiles at you always ' with the smile that 
is childlike and bland ' ; and remembering ' Ah Sin ' and the 
packs of cards concealed in his sleeve, one fears always that 
the ' Heathen Chinee ' is the true account of him, and that he 
has no immortal soul at all. Be this as it may, however, he 
is the best of servants, especially in garden work, for which 
he has an inborn genius. There were several Chinese em- 
ployed in the garden at Moss Vale. One of them, a lad of 
twenty, was an especial favourite. The lady told us that 
morning that this particular youth had announced that he 
must leave. She had inquired the reason. Were his wages 
too small ? was he dissatisfied with his work f ic. He was 
dissatisfied with nothing. The reason was merely that hii 
uncle had arrived in the colony. He must be with his uncle. 
If his uncle could be taken into the Governor's service he 
would stay ; if not he must go. We all laughed. It seemed 
so odd to us that a Chinaman should have an uncle, or, if he 
had, should know it and be proud of him. But why was it 
odd ? or what was there to laugh at 1 On thinking it over, 
I concluded that it was an admission that a Chinaman was a 
human being. Dogs and horses have sires and dams, but they 
have no ' uncles.' An uncle is a peculiarly human relation- 
ship. And the heathen Chinee had thus unconsciously proved 
that he had a soul, and was a man and a brother a man and 
* brother in spite of the Yankees who admit the nigger to 
be their fellow-citizen, bat will not admit the Chinaman, 



CARLVLR 177 

In my travels I avoided newspapers, English newspapers 
especially, wishing to trouble myself as little as possible with 
the Old World, that I might keep myself free to observe the 
New. I forgot my rule at Moss Vale so far as to take up a 
stray number of the ' Pall Mall Gazette,' and I had to throw 

it down in disgust. I found that and had been 

accusing Carlyle in the American journals of ' worship of rank 
and wealth,' and that had spoken of myself as the ' slip- 
shod Nemesis' modern synonym, I suppose, for the halting 
Furies who had laid bare his weakness. Such men judge 
after their kind. These are of the same race, as Carlyie 
always said they were, with those who cried, ' Not this man, 
but Barabbas.' The judgment which they pass is but the 
measure of their own intelligence. I was vexed for a moment, 
but I recalled what I had said to myself from the beginning. 
In writing the biography of a great man you are to tell the 
truth so far as you know it. You are not to trouble yourself 
with the impression which you may produce on the rank and 
file of immediate readers. You are to consider the wise, and 
in the long run the opinion of the wise will be the opinion of 
the multitude. Carlyle was the noblest and truest man that 
I ever met in this world. His peculiarities were an essential 
part of him, and if I was to draw any portrait of him at all, 
I was bound to draw a faithful portrait. His character is not 
likely to please his average contemporaries, of whom he him- 
self had so poor an estimate. Had I made him pleasing to 
such as they are, I should have drawn nothing which in any 
trait could resemble the original. How could they feel lesi 
than dislike for a man who at each step trod on their vanity 
and never concealed his contempt for them ? He can wait 
for the certain future, when he will be seen soaring as far 
beyond them all as the eagle soars beyond the owl and the 
buzzard or, rather, he will alone be seen, and they and their 
works will be forgotten. 

The earth, we are told, is a single great magnet. Thought, 
like electricity, penetrates everywhere, and as Paris and London 
are so are the Antipodes. On oar return to Sydney we had 
more dinners. At one of these, my immediate neighbour, a 



178 OCEANA 

considerable person, asked me ' confidentially ' if I believed in 
a future state. I do not know why he should have been shy 
in putting such a question. There is none of greater moment 
to all of us, none on which we have a better right to seek such 
advice as we can find ; and shyness and reticence are no 
evidence of the completeness of our conviction, but rather of 
the opposite. We dare not look into one another's minds for 
fear of what we should find there. A bishop lately arrived in 
one of these colonies, a very honest man, was requested, during 
a late drought, to issue a circular prayer for rain. He replied 
that an average sufficiency of rain fell every year, and that he 
declined to petition God to work a miracle until the colonists 
had done all that lay in themselves to preserve it by construct- 
ing reservoirs. If the Church authorities throughout the 
world had been as brave and sincere in their language as the 
prelate of whom I speak, the world would have been more 
ready to accept their judgment when they told us what we 
ought to believe. I regretted that I had not seen this good 
bishop. Dr. Barry, too, the new bishop of New South Wales, 
was absent in Tasmania at the time of my visit. From him 
also, so far as I could gather from report, all good may be 
expected. Hereafter, it is to be hoped there may be less occa- 
sion for these confidential interrogatories. 

The harbour continued our chief attraction. The Govern- 
ment had left their steam-launch at our disposition whenever 
we pleased to use it. The water was the coolest place which 
we could find ; and to skim over it with a self -created breeze 
and a basket of grapes at our side, was the most delicious 
method of passing the day. We made one more circuit of the 
wooded inlets, penetrating beyond the furthest points which 

we had visited before. E was with us this time, bringing 

his sketch-book with him. We rested at midday in a secluded 
reach of the deepest of the estuaries. The strata, which bad 
been tilted vertically, turned the shores into broken walls, 
The water ran deep to the edge, and we found a spot where 
the launch could lie safely beside a natural causeway overlaid 
with oysters. The red sandstone rock rose steep above our 
heads. Huge fallen masses fringed the sides of the inlet, 



SYDNEY HARBOUR ONCE MORE 179 

their shadows mixing with the forms and colours of the trees 
which lay inverted on the transparent water. Enormous 
eucalypti, which had struck their roots between the clefts in 
the stones, towered up into the air, or spread outwards their 
long branches, shielding us from the sum. Here we had 
luncheon one of those luncheons which linger on in memory, 
set in landscapes of lake or river- side or mountain glen ; where 
food becomes poetical, and is no longer vulgar nutriment ; and 
old friends, now ' gone to the majority,' show their pleasant 
faces to us as figures in a dream. Instead of wine we had our 
grape-basket great bunches like those which Virgil's country- 
men gathered wild to mix with the water of Achelous. E 

made a water-colour drawing of the place, to remember it by 
in years to come. In the foreground stood the blighted stem 
of a gigantic gum-tree which had tried to fall and had been 
arrested half-way in its descent by a buttress of rock. There 
it was, leaning out at a steep angle over the water, lifeless, 
leafless, the trunk twisted into the shape of some monstrous 
writhing saurian, the naked branches clear against the sky as 

if blasted by lightning. E dared to draw the ghostlike 

thing, and succeeded actually in catching the form, and some- 
thing of the emotion belonging to it. I, in a humbler way, 
contented myself with the landscape, and flinched from such a 
horrid object. 

Our time in Sydney was now running out, and, indeed, 
the time which we could give to Australia. We had been 
nearly two months there. I was sorry to miss Van Diemen's 
Land, which they say is the most like England of all our 
possessions in those seas an England with a gentler climate, 
We had been pressed to visit Queensland ; but my object 
had been to learn the thoughts and views of such reflecting 
persons as could best forecast the future, and for the rest to 
look rather at what the colonists themselves were doing than 
at new countries as nature had made them. I had therefore 
given all my leisure to the two leading states, where energy 
and enterprise had accomplished the most. 

Before we left I had a second and extremely interesting 
talk with Mr. Dalley, the substance of which, or at least 



i8o OCEANA 

parts of it, I saw afterwards fairly well reported in one of the 
Sydney papers, and for this reason, and because I think Mr. 
Dalley wished that his opinions should be known in England, 
I transcribe from my note-book the principal things which he 
said to me. 

The main subject was the much talked of 'Federation' 
of the colonies and the mother-country. Could the colonies 
and Great Britain coalesce in a political union 1 and if so how 
and into what kind of union 1 The next chapter will contain 
the conclusions which I drew about it from miscellaneous con- 
versations, not with Mr. Dalley only but with all kinds of 
persons. The views of Mr. Dalley himself, as the most re- 
markable of all the Australian statesmen that I met with, 
must have a place by themselves. ' Oceana ' to him was no 
unreal union. It was an object of distinct and practical hope. 
He desired himself to see us all united not in heart, not in 
sentiment, not in loyalty and British feeling ; for that we, or 
t least those colonies, were already but one in so completed 
a confederacy that separation should no longer be mentioned 
among us even as a crotchet of an English public office. He 
did not despair of such a consummation, though he was well 
aware of the difficulties in the way. He thought that if the 
British people really wished for it, if no unwise experiments 
were tried prematurely, and if no attempt were made to force 
any one of the colonies into a course for which it was unpre- 
pared, time and the natural tendencies of things would accom- 
plish what had been called impossible. 

Of the detailed schemes already suggested Mr. Dalley had 
no good opinion. 

1. The confederation of the Australian colonies among 
themselves was supposed in England to be a step towards a 
larger union. It had been pressed upon them by high autho- 
rities at home ; Victoria was eager for it and where Victoria 
led the other provinces would be inclined to follow. New 
South Wales, however, the eldest of the South Sea communi- 
ties, was opposed to it for many reasons, most of all because 
he believed it would not tend in any way to promote Imperial 
federation, but rather would have an opposite effect The 



, MR. DALLEY ON FEDERATION 181 

Colonial Office might wish to escape trouble, and probably 
adhered in secret to the old policy, which was to make Aus- 
tralia independent. New South Wales objected, and he 
trusted that the Imperial Government would respect their 
opposition and understand the motives of it. A confederation 
of the Australian colonies, through and in an Imperial federa- 
tion, Mr. Dalley would welcome and would promote with all 
his strength. A separate local federation he had opposed, and 
would oppose to the end. 

2. Some English advocates of Imperial federation had con- 
ceived that there could be no unity without a central council 
or parliament in which the several colonies could be repre- 
sented, and had suggested that a convenient body could be 
formed immediately out of the colonial agents-general. To 
this proposal Mr. Dalley had many and, as it seemed to me, 
well-grounded objections. The agents-general were originally 
little more than colonial consuls, engaged exclusively with 
commercial business or financial. As the colonies grew in 
importance, the functions of these gentlemen had necessarily 
extended and had assumed political consequence. It was 
right, and indeed inevitable, that they should so extend. The 
persons chosen for these offices were generally men who had 
grown old in the colonial service, who had been distinguished 
in the various legislatures, had held office, and were of weight 
and consequence. They were thus fit and proper advisers 
of the Colonial Office, each for the colony by which he was 
accredited. They might properly be sworn members of the 
Privy Council a step which the Crown itself could take 
without consulting either the British or the Colonial Parlia- 
ments. But this was something entirely different from erect 
ing them into a responsible and deliberate assembly. In the 
first place, Mr. Dalley said, the functions of such an assembly 
would have to be defined, and the longer this question was 
considered the less easily would the answer to it be found. In 
the second place, the agents-general were not representatives 
of the colonies ; they held their offices at the will of the party 
who happened to be in power. They were not now recalled or 
changed at each change of Government, because their present 



i8a OCEANA 

duties were not of a kind which required alteration ; but they 
could no longer retain this political neutral character if so 
great a change was made in their position. Each new Adminis- 
tration would be tempted to appoint a new agent-general, at 
great inconvenience to the colony. Even then he would not 
and could not represent the colony as a whole, and there 
would be instant jealousy if he attempted to act in any 
such capacity. Supposing these objections overcome, and a 
council of agents-general brought together directly elected for 
the purpose, such a council from its very nature would have 
to debate and decide questions on which the colonies would 
have separate and perhaps opposite interests. The interest of 
one was not always the interest of another ; when there were 
differences of opinion the majority would determine ; and why 
was New South Wales to submit to be outvoted by agents 
from Jamaica or Canada or the Cape, in matters of which 
New South Wales herself might claim to be the only compe- 
tent judge t The only possible result would be confusion and 
quarrels. The scheme would break down on the very first 
occasion when there was serious division of opinion. The in- 
terference of Downing Street itself, even as it was now consti- 
tuted, would be less intolerable than the authoritative rule of 
a council composed of agents-general collected from all parts 
of the empire. 

Other projects of an analogous kind projects for a great 
Imperial Parliament to supersede the present, <kc., Mr. Dal ley 
dismissed as still more unworthy of serious consideration. 
Such a parliament as that would have to grow, if ever it was 
to exist at all, out of the exigencies of future occasions. 
Organic institutions could not be manufactured to order by 
closet speculators ; they developed of themselves. 

But if Imperial deliberative assemblies were not to be 
thought of, there was something of immeasurably greater 
importance which might be thought of, and Mr. Dalley re- 
ferred to the subject of the Colonial Navy. Oceana, the 
great empire of which Great Britain was the stem, and the 
colonies the branches, was the creation of the naval enterprise 
of England. She had ftpmtd her race over cue globe, *ud had 



THE NAVY 183 

planted them where they were now flourishing, because she 
had been supreme upon the seas. The fleet was the instrument 
of her power and the symbol of her unity. British ships of 
war were 7 the safeguard of colonial liberty, and the natural 
chain which held the scattered communities together. The 
fleet, therefore, ought to be one. Division was weakness, 
and the old story of the bundle of sticks had here its proper 
application. Let there be one navy, Mr. Dalley said, under 
the rule of a single Admiralty a navy in which the colonies 
should be as much interested as the mother-country, which 
should be theirs as well as hers, and on which they might all 
rely in time of danger. Let there be no more colonial ships 
under a separate authority, unlikely to be found efficient if 
their services were needed on a sudden, and liable to be mis- 
chievously misused if maintained continuously in a condition fit 
for sea. Let each great colony or group of colonies have its 
own squadron, which should bear its name, should be always 
present in their waters, and be supported out of its own re- 
sources, while it remained at the same time an integral part of 
the one navy of Oceana. So the empire would be invulnerable 
011 its own element, and, invulnerable there, might laugh at 
the ill-will of the nations of the earth combined. It would be 
linked together by a bond to which the most ingenious par- 
liamentary union would be as packthread. Each member of 
the vast community would be left free to manage its internal 
affairs as might seem best to itself, and, secure in being ad- 
mitted into partnership with the most splendid empire which 
the earth had ever seen, it would as little think of separating, 
as the hand would think of separating from the body. 

This was the scheme for Imperial confederation put before 
me by the minister whose action in sending the contingent to 
the Soudan has been so much admired and applauded. Each 
colony was to estimate what its naval defence would cost if it 
were left to its own resources, and to offer this as a subsidy to 
the expenses of the Imperial fleet. Money would be but a 
alight difficulty, and would be a less and less difficulty as their 
wealth increased. 

' Only,' he said, and with some emphasis, ' we mast hare 



1 84 OCEANA 

the English flag again ' and on this one subject Mr. Dalley 
seemed to speak with bitterness. The Australians do not like 
a bar sinister over their scutcheon, as if they were bastards 
and not legitimate ; and surely of all ill-considered measures 
in our dealings with the colonies, the dignity of forcing upon 
them a difference in the flag was the very worst. No affront 
was, of course, intended. The alteration originated, I believe, 
in some officialism unintelligible to the ordinary mind, and 
was taken up and insisted on as part of the Separatist policy. 
By our poor kindred it has been taken as an intimation, 
flaunted perpetually in their faces, that we look on them as 
our inferiors and not as our equals. Those who are talking and 
writing so eagerly now about a confederated empire should 
insist at once, and without delay, that when any colony 
expresses a desire to fly over its ships and forts the old flag of 
England, neither childish pedantry nor treacherous secret 
designs to break the empire into fragments shall be allowed to 
interfere with a patriotic and honourable purpose. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Alternative prospects of the Australian colonies Theory of the value of 
colonies in the last century Modern desire for nnion Proposed schemes 
Representation Proposal for Colonial Peers Federal Parliament impos- 
sible Organised emigration Danger of hasty measures Distribution of 
honours Advantages and disadvantages of party government in colonies 
Last words on South Africa. 

WE had now seen all that our limits of time would allow 
us of Australia and the Australians. New South Wales 
and Victoria are vast territories, and ours had been but a 
glimpse of a small part of them ; but a stay indefinitely 
prolonged could have taught me no more than I already 
knew of the opinions of those who were guiding the destinies 
of Australia, and of the alternative possibilities of the 
future. If those colonies remain attached to the mother- 
country, a great and prosperous destiny seems, in human pro- 



ALTERNATIVE PROSPECTS 185 

bability, assured to them. If fate and official want of wisdom 
divide us asunder, these colonies will also, I suppose, form 
eventually a great nation, or several nations, but they will 
have to pass through the fire of affliction. Trials await them 
of many kinds, as certain as the disorders of childhood, some 
made by fate, some by human wilfulness. Nations cannot 
mature, any more than each individual of us, without having 
their school lessons drilled into them by painful processes. 
cv vdBei fui6fiv is the law of human progress, from the growth 
of the schoolboy to the growth of the largest community .^The 
Australians, being of English blood, will probably pass suc- 
cessfully through their various apprenticeships. It is possible, 
on the other hand, that they may repeat the experience of the 
Spanish colonies in America, and have a long period before 
them of war and revolution. Human nature is very uniform, 
and the Spaniards in the sixteenth century were as advanced 
a race as we. They had degenerated before their colonies 
were cast adrift, and British communities may hope reason- 
ably for a better future than befell any Spanish settlement 
which achieved its independence. But dangers of some kind 
there must be, and the Australian colonists will not expose 
themselves unnecessarily to the accidents inseparable from 
isolation. Their nationality at present is English, and if they 
leave us it will be by the action of Great Britain herself, not 
by any action of their own. To the question what political 
measures should be taken to preserve the union, they would 
answer generally, no measures at all save in a better organisa- 
tion of the navy. Let well alone. The ties which hold us 
together are daily strengthening of themselves. The trade of 
England with the colonies grows far more rapidly than with 
any other parts of the world. Intercourse is increasing. 
Melbourne and Sydney are as easy of access now as New York 
was fifty years ago. Steam and telegraph have made an end 
of distance. The English in the colonies and the English at 
home will not fall out if the officials in Downing Street do not 
get them by the ears. If the officials persist, there will be the 
remedy of the unwilling duellists who turned their pistols on 
the seconds that had made the quarrqi. \ 



iM OCEANA 

In the present state of public feeling, the danger is rather 
from premature experiments on the part of those who are 
anxious to see the union assume a more defined form. I will 
therefore add a few more words to what was said by Mr. 
Dalley, on the different schemes which have been put forward, 
and mention the opinions which I heard expressed about 
them. 

The colonial theory in favour in England in the last cen- 
tury, was that the colonies existed only by favour of the 
mother-country ; that the mother-country was entitled to 
impose upon them such conditions as it pleased, in return for 
her protection. The value of the colonies was as a market for 
British manufactures. We arranged the terms of the market 
as seemed most to our own advantage. We allowed them to 
trade only with ourselves, and in such articles as we chose to 
prescribe. They were dissatisfied, and when we proceeded 
further to try to raise a direct revenue from them, they re- 
sisted. The cry rose which remains the first article of modern 
political faith ' No taxation without representation.' The 
American States demanded to be allowed to send representa- 
tives to the English Parliament. Had the demand been con- 
ceded, Franklin and Washington would have been satisfied ; 
and thenceforth no ' colonial question,' in the sense in which 
we now speak of it, would ever have existed. The colonies 
would have been represented in proportion to their wealth and 
population ; the empire would have grown homogeneously, 
and British subjects in all parts of the world would have had 
equal political rights. For a time at least this would have 
answered the demands of the Americans. No one can say 
what would eventually have happened ; but a precedent would 
have been set for all subsequent arrangements, which could 
have been easily followed or modified as occasion required. 
The authorities at home were stubborn ; they despised the 
colonies too much to acquiesce in a reasonable demand. The 
Sibyl tore the pages from her book, and the American pro- 
vinces were lost. We have boasted loudly that we will not 
repeat the same mistake that we will never try to coerce a 
British colony into remaining with 01 against its will. But 



PROPOSED COUNCIL OF AGENTS-GENERAL 187 

the spirit has continued absolutely unaltered ; the contempt 
has been the same ; we have opened our trade with the rest of 
the world ; and the sole value of the colonies being still sup- 
posed to lie in their being consumers of English goods, it has 
been imagined that they would consume as much whether 
dependent or independent, and that therefore it was a matter 
of indifference whether their connection with us was sustained 
or broken. We could have saved America by admitting its 
representatives. We have never so much as thought whether 
we might not give representation to Canada and Australia. 
It might have been done fifty years ago. The opportunity has 
been lost now and cannot return. The colonies have their 
several legislatures, are accustomed to be completely masters 
of their internal affairs, and will not part with privileges which 
have become precious to them. Great Britain will not allow 
colonial representatives to vote her taxes or her trade policy, 
unless the colonies will allow the Parliament so constituted to 
revise their tariff and tax them in return. As things now 
stand, no member for Sydney or Melbourne or Ottawa or 
Montreal can ever sit in the British House of Commons. It 
has been suggested that the agents-general might have official 
seats, and might speak but not vote ; but a position of impo- 
tence and inferiority would irritate more than it would con- 
ciliate. There is no instance on record of a successful experi- 
ment of this kind ; and the fatal objection still holds that the 
agents-general cannot represent the colonies because they are 
not elected to represent them ; and the system on which they 
are appointed cannot be changed, to confer merely on them the 
ineffectual privilege of being present at debates where their 
voices will have no power. 

If the colonies cannot be represented even in such equi- 
vocal fashion in the House of Commons, it has been thought 
that in another place there might not be the same difficulty ; 
that into a reformed House of Lords, or even into that House 
as it exists at present, colonial statesmen might be admitted 
as life-peers. Distinguished political services would thus 
receive an appropriate recognition, and the Upper House 
might gain an increased Imperial consequence which now 



188 OCEANA 

hardly attaches to it I have myself often imagined that 
such an experiment might at least be tried. My experience 
in Cape affairs taught me how inestimable would be the advan- 
tage if each of our self -governed dependencies could have 
someone who could speak on their affairs publicly and with a 
less equivocal authority than would belong to them as non- 
voting members of the Lower House. Agents-general com- 
municate only with the Colonial Office, and the public are left 
in ignorance whether their advice has been accepted or passed 
over. The despatches of Governors may be published in blue- 
books, but their private letters are not published. The world 
generally does not read blue-books, and only hears what they 
contain from party fights in Parliament. This or that person 
may have private knowledge, and may write to the news- 
papers or make a speech on a platform ; but he is only an 
individual, and may be suspected of having objects of his own. 
If we had among us men who could speak in the name and 
with the authority of the general sense of a colony, the public 
would listen, and the expensive mistakes which are now so 
frequent would not be permitted. The public trusts its repre- 
sentatives and the cabinets formed out of them far too impli- 
citly. It knows it cannot but know that the constituencies 
do not choose men to represent them because they are wise. 
The constituencies choose them for other reasons, and ought 
not therefore to expect to find them wise. If there had been 
anyone in England who could have told us the truth about 
South Africa from a position which would have commanded 
attention, the Orange River would have remained where it 
was fixed by treaty as the frontier of the colony ; the Diamond 
Fields would never have been torn from the Orange Ytod 
State ; the Transvaal would not have been annexed, on the 
plea that the Dutch desired it. Sir Bartle Frere would have 
made no wars against the Caffres and Zulus ; the shadow of 
Majuba Hill would not have withered our military laurels. 
The country would not have been deluded into a belief that 
when Sir Charles Warren had conquered Bechnanaland the 
Gape ministry would relieve us of the cost of ruling it. These 
freaks of our rulers the earliest of them but fifteen years old, 



PROPOSAL FOR COLONIAL PEERS 189 

the last in progress at this moment have cost several millions 
of pounds and tens of thousands of human lives. Honour 
does not go for much in these days, but honour has been lost 
too. And all these blunders would have been avoided, and 
the Cape Colony would now have been a peaceable and pro- 
sperous community, had the true condition of things been 
known. The English public rarely goes wrong when the facts 
are fairly put before it. The weighty voice of a single well- 
informed person, who could speak with authority, would 
have echoed over the country, and ministers would have been 
forbidden to indulge themselves in these ambitious but costly 
levities. 

The House of Lords seemed to offer the required oppor- 
tunity, and admission thither promised to bring the colonies 
into political relations with us in a form to which the least 
objection could be taken. I am obliged to say, however, that 
I did not find in Australia a single person who would seriously 
attend to the mention of such a thing. In the first place, they 
said men could not be found for such a purpose in whom the 
colonists would place continuous confidence. The Peers I 
spoke of would have to be appointed for life, or at least for a 
period of several years. The growth of colonies is so rapid, 
and the change of circumstances so frequent, that a man who 
might be trusted wholly one year would be half-trusted the 
next, and the third would not be trusted at all. Being absent 
he would lose touch of popular feeling. There would be a 
demand for his recall, and if this could not be, he would be 
disowned, and his influence gone. Again, how were they to 
be elected 1 Like creates like, and a popular vote could not 
make a peer. Crown appointments through the Governors 
would please no one ; if made by the Ministry of the day, 
they would displease the Opposition, who, when their turn of 
power came, would claim to nominate others, and as ministries 
change fast, colonial peers would multiply inconveniently. 
Thirdly, the choice would be limited to men of wealth and 
leisure, with a reputation for character and intelligence, and 
the number of persons combining the necessary qualifications 
could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Lastly, and 



190 OCEANA 

conclusively, the colonists are democratic. They are pleased 
to see our noble lords who come visiting among them, but they 
do not wish to see such high dignities naturalised among them- 
selvj, even in the most diluted form. In short, they treated 
the suggestion as ridiculous, and ridicule is fatal. There will 
be no colonial life-peers till the House of Lords has under- 
gone a process like the aged Greek king ; till it has been 
taken to pieces, dissected, and reconstructed by some revolu 
tionary Medea. 

Another project has been suggested, I know not whether 
I need mention it. A new Parliament, a Federal Parlia- 
ment, composed of representatives for all parts of the empire, 
is to sit side by side with the existing Parliament and relieve 
it of the charge of foreign and colonial policy. The ministry 
will have to be chosen from this new Parliament. On it will 
fall the decision of all questions of peace or war. Therefore 
it will have the overruling voice in the taxation which its 
acts may make necessary. The House of Commons is now 
omnipotent. No man, or body of men, has been known yet 
to relinquish voluntarily powers of which he was in present 
possession. Who is to persuade the House of Commons to 
abdicate half its functions, and construct a superior authority 
which would reduce it to the level of a municipal board t 
What force short of revolution and soldiers' bayonets could 
bring them to it f Of all the amateur propositions hitherto 
brought forward, this of a Federal Parliament is the most 
chimerical and absurd. 

Is there then nothing which can be done I Must we drift 
on at the mercy of man or the mercy of circumstances, drift 
as we always do drift when we abandon the helm on the lee 
shore of disintegration t Everything may be done which it is 
fit and right to do if we know our bearings, if we know the 
ocean currents, and the capabilities of the ship which carries 
us. But we must look at the facts as they are, not as in our 
imaginative enthusiasm, or equally imaginary alarms, we may 
wish or fear them to be. What, then, are the facts, and what 
is our object 1 We say that we desire the colonies to be united 
to the empire They are united already, united by the bond 



WHAT WE CAN DO 191 

of nature. The inhabitants of Victoria and New South Wales 
are as completely subjects of the Queen of Great Britain aa 
any of ourselves ; they are as proud of their sovereign, they 
are aa heartily loyal, they as little dream of throwing off their 
allegiance. Nay, perhaps they have more part in David than 
those who are nearer to the throne. Their attachment is 
enhanced by the emotional enchantment of distance. Well 
then, let this identity be recognised in all communications 
which are exchanged with them. They complain of the cold- 
nesa of tone and almost estrangement with which they have 
been hitherto addressed : and the complaint is not without 
reason. When they make impetuous demands upon us, when 
they require us, as in the case of New Guinea, to challenge 
one of the great Powers of Europe on account of injuries 
which to us seem visionary, we may be right and wise in de- 
clining ; but we might so decline as to show them that we 
understand their feelings, respect their ambition, regard even 
their impatience as a sign that they are zealous for the great- 
ness of Oceana. Kind words cost nothing, and kind words 
would be precious to these far-off relations of ours, for they 
would show that the heart of England was with them. 

Again, they are passionately attached to their sovereign. 
The Queen is present with them through the Governor ; and 
the Governor migh*" and should be worthy always of the 
dignity of the great person whom he represents. I am well 
aware that for these high offices we select occasionally men of 
capacity and character. No fitter President could have been 
found for Victoria in all the British dominions than Sir Henry 
Loch. But it is notorious that, at least in past times, other 
considerations have influenced our selection. Minor political 
services, social rank, the desire to ' provide ' for this gentleman 
or that, have been sufficient recommendations for the vice- 
royalties of our grandest dependencies, when men of tried 
ability and high administrative experience, who have been so 
unhappy as to displease the Colonial Office, have been allowed 
to fall out of the service. The indirect influence which a 
really able and trained Englishman who has moved in a larger 
sphere can exercise in a constitutional colony is necessarily 

o 



192 OCEANA 

immense. His duty is to abide by the advice of his ministers j 
bat his ministers and the colonial public will pay the voluntary 
respect to his judgment which his wider education and mental 
superiority command. He will lead without commanding. 
The presence among them of first-rate men is a compliment 
which the colonies appreciate as an evidence of the estimation 
in which they are held ; just as when some mere man of rank, 
or some hack of party is sent among them, they resent it as a 
sign of disrespect. If we value the attachment of the colonies, 
we are bound to furnish them with the fittest chiefs whom we 
can provide ; and there will be no difficulty when the situation 
of governor of a great colony is recognised as of the import' 
ance which really attaches to it. 

This is one thing which we can do. If it is done already 
we have so far discharged our duty and must continue to dis- 
charge it. 

Again, the colonies need immigrants, and the right sort ol 
immigrants. Immigration from Europe has raised America in 
half a century to the first rank among the nations of the 
world. Four-fifths of the English and Scotch and Irish who 
annually leave our shores to find new homes become citizens of 
the United States. Can no effort be made in connection with 
the Colonial Governments to direct at least part of this fer- 
tilising stream into our own dominions 1 Can we afford to 
spend tens of millions upon Russian wars, Egyptian wars, 
Caffre and Zulu wars, and can we afford nothing, can we not 
afford so much as attention, in order to save the British 
nationality of so many hundreds of thousands of our fellow- 
citizens t With some care and some fraction of the enormous 
sums which we fling away so lavishly, we could be weaving 
threads to bind the colonies stronger than the web which 
Maimuna spun round the aras of Thalaba. Some years ago a 
colonial premier spoke to me on this subject. I said that 
thousands of boys and girls would now annually be leaving 
our Board schools with a rudimentary education, who had no 
parents, no friends, no prospects. I asked him if his colony 
would take some of them, fetch them out, and apprentice 
them, till they were twenty-one, to colonial farmers and arti- 



DANGER OF HASTY MEASURES 193 

ana the colony to be responsible for their good treatment, 
and to bear the expenses, in consideration for the services of 
these boys and girls while under age. I conceived that it 
would be a means of providing the colony with the most valu- 
able recruits that could be found for it, while to the children 
themselves, if they behaved well, it would assure a happy 
future. My friend answered that we could do nothing, abso- 
lutely nothing, which would be received more warmly and 
gratefully by his colony. He promised everything co-opera- 
tion, supervision, any securities and guarantees that we liked 
to ask. I laid the matter before the home authorities. After 
few weeks I received a reply, covering a quire of foolscap 
paper, proving to the satisfaction of the writer that nothing 
of the sort could or ought to be tried. Miss Rye and other 
generous women have proved that it can be done, and have 
provided hundreds of destitute children with homes in Canada. 
Government officials can only answer Impossible. 

For other measures we must wait for the occasion. Inter- 
federation of the Australian States, or free trade, or a Zoll- 
verein, or any other project may, and perhaps will, be raised 
as a hustings cry in England. But those who really desire 
the union of Oceana will avoid, as far as possible, all such idle 
suggestions. The colonists are doing our work ; they are, or 
some of them are, the most vigorous members of our whole 
empire. If they contribute nothing directly to the Imperial 
treasury, they pay their own internal expenses. They are 
opening their soil to as many of our people as they can attract; 
they are finding employment for our capital ; they are feeding 
our trade ; they are accumulating wealth, which, in fact, is 
national wealth ; they have shown that in a supposed time of 
danger they are eager to share our burdens ; they are doing 
all which we have a right to expect of them ; each year their 
resources increase, and, as they become conscious of their im- 
portance, they will seek and, perhaps, will claim a more inti- 
mate connection with the Imperial administration. But as 
long as they are contented to be as they are, while they are 
ready to encounter such risks as may befall them on the pre- 
aent terms, we may well leave them to be themselves the 

o2 



f94 OCEANA 

judg** of what is good for them. All advances towards a 
closer political connection must come from their side. Lot 
each colony, if it feels uneasy anywhere, make its wishes 
known, and let each desire be considered as it rises on its own 
merit*. General comprehensive schemes will almost certainly 
fail ; they will fail assuredly if suggested from England. We 
have not deserved the entire confidence of our colonies ; all 
that we have ever done, or tried to do, in connection has been 
in relation to some interests of our own, and fine professions 
of generous views will only seem suspicious. Anything which 
they consider would be for their good, unless it be itself un- 
reasonable, ought to be done ; but we had better wait for them 
to ask it. Even as concerns the fleet and the flag, the advances 
must be made by them. 

But we are ourselves the distributors of our own honours, 
and of the high places in our own professions. I do not see 
why eminent colonial judges should not, if they wish it, be 
transferred from their bench to ours. Service at a colonial 
bar might be as sufficient a qualification as service in the law 
courts at home. The Order of St. Michael and St. George 
was created especially to decorate colonists ; but why make 
& distinction t The Garter, we know, is never given for merit, 
and therefore they would not aspire to so supreme a dignity j 
but why not admit them to the Bath t Intellect and worth, 
wherever found, ought to circulate freely through all the 
arteries of the empire. We should place their old men in the 
Privy Council ; we should invite their young men into the army 
and navy and Indian service ; and promotion should know no 
difference between English, Scots, Canadians, Australians, and 
South Africans. Every single colonist in the service of the 
nation would be a fibre of the great roots which hold us 
all together. These things are easy, and when facilities are 
wanting we can create them, without disturbing existing 
arrangements. It may be said that all this field is already 
open. If a young Australian lawyer will come to England as 
Copley came, he, like Copley, may sit upon the woolsack. 
Yes, but it will be by ceasing to be an Australian ; and the 
provincial character which may fitly lose itself in the Imperial 



POLITICAL ORGANISATION 195 

greatness of ' Oceana ' ought not to be merged in the consti- 
tution of Great Britain at least till Great Britain has come 
frankly to admit the equality of the colonies with herself. 

For the rest, ample as is the freedom which the self- 
governed colonies now possess, I would give them more if 
they desire it. We have bestowed on them parliamentary 
institutions formed after our own model. But it does not 
follow that this particular form of government is the best for 
all times and all countries. The British constitution, with its 
two parties alternately taking the helm, has grown out of our 
national circumstances. It has been a contrivance for con- 
ducting peacefully the transition from the feudal England of 
the Plantagenets to the England of liberty and equality. For 
better and worse it has answered that purpose, and may for a 
time continue to answer it. But beyond the England of 
equality there may be further changes. Nothing in this world 
reaches its final shape till it dies ; and England is not dead. 
There are already signs that even at home parties have lost 
their original outlines, that they are degenerating into factions, 
and forget the interests of the empire in their mutual ani- 
mosities. In the colonies there are no natural parties at all ; 
they have to be created artificially ; and it is likely that, if 
left to themselves, Canadians and Australians would have 
preferred a government on the model of the American, where 
a president is chosen directly by the people for a period of 
years. In the president rests the supreme executive authority. 
He chooses his own ministers ; he is responsible to the nation 
and not to Congress ; his cabinet is not liable to be displaced 
by factious combinations, and for his term of office he is able 
to follow some consistent and rational policy. In the colonies 
governments have hitherto been changed with inconvenient 
rapidity. It is possible that, weary of intrigues and jobs 
and other phenomena of the British method, this or that 
colony may conclude that the American is preferable, that it* 
affairs would be more wisely and more economically conducted 
if it, too, might elect its own chief, deliver him from the hands 
of the legislative Philistines, and give him power independent 
of them. Such a power as this the colonies of course would 



196 OCEANA 

never give to a governor appointed by England. A chief 
minister elected directly by the people would be the people*! 
minister and not the governor's, as in fiction he is still sup- 
posed to be, and the governor would in that case become a 
superfluity. Yet, if there was a serious wish in any colony to 
make such a change, I should be sorry to see it resisted. A 
president elected by the people would be as much a represen- 
tative of his sovereign as a governor appointed by an English 
minister. There would be no change of nationality unless the 
people demanded a change, and if they did demand it an 
official nominee from Downing Street would not long remain 
an obstacle. You do not alienate men by allowing them 
opportunities of improving their condition, and a slack chain 
is less easily broken han a tight one. 

In concluding this chapter, I will add a few more words 
about South Africa ; that country being a most signal example 
of all the faults in the past methods of colonial management, 
and therefore a favourable specimen of the treatment most to 
be avoided. South Africa is self -governed, and it is not self- 
governed. In precipitate haste, without forethought or com- 
mon consideration, a constitution was forced upon the Cape 
Colony. Natal was and is a Crown Colony. The Transvaal 
and the Orange Free State are independent republics. Yet 
the four states are so interconnected that measures adopted 
in one affect all the others, while the governor of the Capo 
Colony, to increase the confusion, holds a further office of 
High Commissioner and protector of the native tribes. From 
this complexity of jurisdiction, there has been sometimes an 
occasion, and always a pretext, for interference from home. 
We have relinquished the right to govern the Cape Colony 
ourselves ; we have made it impossible for the colonists to 
govern with the necessary independence ; and thus the unlucky 
country has been the prey of well-intentioned philanthropists, 
of colonial secretaries ambitious of distinguishing themselves, 
and of internal factions fed by the hope of English support. 
So things must continue, and South Africa will become a 
second Ireland unless we choose between one of two courses, 
for no third ia possible. We cannot control the interior States 



LAST WORDS ON SOUTH AFRICA 197 

as long as the Cape Colony is out of our hands and refuses its 
support. Therefore we must either revoke the constitution so 
prematurely bestowed, or we must, bond fide, leave South 
Africa to govern itself, as Australia and Canada govern them- 
selves, do away with the High Commissionership, and cease to 
meddle in any way. The first course might answer, but it 
cannot be adopted ; the colonists will not willingly part with 
their liberties, and the state of parties at home forbids the 
thought of high-handed measures. The alternative implies 
the surrender of the native policy to the colonists. The success 
of the Dutch in the Free States a small minority of whites 
in the midst of twenty times their number of warlike blacks 
proves that a modus vivendi can be found under which the 
two races can live side by side, and the white man can acquire 
his natural ascendency. But if we withdraw, it will be the 
Dutch method which will be adopted all over the country, and 
not the English. I should not myself object to this. The 
Dutch method, in the long run, is the more merciful of the 
two. We have killed hundreds of natives where the Dutch 
have killed tens. But the Dutch, who are the majority, 
would be virtually masters of South Africa. They look on 
themselves as the lawful owners, and on us as intruders. The 
connection on such terms would perhaps be found galling on 
both sides, and further changes might come in view. Even to 
the Dutch the English connection has many advantages. It 
may not yet be too late to recover their confidence, and even 
their loyalty. But past experience forbids any sanguine hope 
that prejudices on both sides so deeply rooted will easily be 
overcome, while the problem is further complicated by the 
naval station, which we cannot afford to part with. The pos- 
session of Simon's Bay, at the extreme south point of Africa, 
is indispensable to us. It commands the ocean route to India, 
which at any time may become our only one. Whoever 
holds Simon's Bay holds at his mercy our entire sailing com- 
merce with the East. A handful of privateers with their 
headquarters there might capture or destroy every trading 
vessel passing outside it ; and to hold the Cape peninsula and 
to let the rest of the country go is declared to be impossible 



198 OCEANA 

by the political and military authorities. Therefore it may be 
said that we have so twisted and entangled our South African 
affairs that the knots now can neither be cut nor untied. 
Want of wisdom has brought it about We must hope for 
more wisdom ; but where is more wisdom to come from, and 
how is it to find its way into our public offices t 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Sail for New Zealand The 'City of Sydney' Chinese stewards An Irish 
priest Miscellaneous passengers The American captain and his crew The 
North Cape Climate and soil of New Zealand Auckland Sleeping vol- 
canoes Mount Eden Bishop Selwyn's church and residence Work and 
wages The Northern Club Hospitalities Harbour works Tendency to 
crowd into towns Industries A Senior Wrangler Sir George Grey Plant 
for sight-seeing. 

ON February 26 we left Australia for New Zealand in an 
American steamer of between three and four thousand tons. 
She was going on to San Francisco, touching at Auckland on 
the way, and was called the ' City of Sydney.' We were able 
to take our tickets through to London across the American 
continent, either to proceed at once or to stay on the route as 
we pleased. Our plan was to remain in New Zealand for a 
month, and to follow in the next monthly vessel belonging to 
the same line. The telegrams from England were becoming 

warlike. E who had meant to extend his tour, determined 

to return with us, at least as far as the Sandwich Islands. 
English travellers, officers on leave, militia captains, colonels, 
(be., were streaming homewards from all quarters, like flights 
of rooks to their roosting-trees at evening, expecting that their 
services might be required. 

In the ' City of Sydney ' we were under the ' stars and 
tripes,' a flag always welcome to Englishmen when they cannot 
have their own. She was a handsome ship to look at, smart 
and well-appointed. Her captain was a man of thirty, gentle- 
manlike, but with the cool indifferent manners of his country - 
We regretted our old ' Australasian ' we could not 



THE *CITY OF SYDNEY* 199 

hope for such quarter* as we had found there : her we left at 
Sydney, taking on board the Soudan contingent. But we had 
been well off all along, and we took our chance with no great 
alarm. As we steamed out of the harbour we were attended 
by a large launch crowded with ladies and gentlemen who 
were cheering and waving handkerchiefs. Evidently we had 
someone on board who was a special favourite, and we dis- 
tinguished the object of these attentions in a young Irish 
priest who was starting for home. 

/ I and my son had a state-room on deck to ourselves, very 
pleasantly situated, with a gallery outside, between us and the 
sea, so that we could keep our windows open in all weathers. 
The cabin-boys, under-stewards, <fec., were Chinese, the first 
with whom we had come in contact in a domestic capacity 
little brown fellows in flowing dresses of blue calico with gilt 
buttons or clasps, a soft smile on their faces, and their pigtails 
coiled in a knob upon their heads, to be let down when in full 
dress at dinner-time. Noiselessly the little creatures moved 
about in slippered feet, and were infinitely obliging and en- 
gaging. Though it was out of feeding hours when we went on 
board, and the ship's rules were strict, they brought us luncheon 
to our cabin. So far as waiting attentions would secure our 
comfort we felt at ease at once. My difficulty was that there 
were many of them running about, and I could not distinguish 
one from another. The shepherd knows his sheep, and I 
suppose that to Chinamen the separate personalities are aa 
easily recognised as ours. To me they seemed only what 
Schopenhauer says that all individual existences are : ' acci- 
dental illustrations of a single idea under the conditions of 
space and time.' 

The cook of the ' Australasian ' had spoilt us for average 
passenger steamer fare. The saloon was crowded ; we had to 
scramble for seats at the table. The dinner, when it came, 
was served American fashion : a multitude of small, ill -dressed 
dishes huddled round one's plate. We grumbled, perhaps 
audibly. But if their food is not poisonous, sensible people 
remember nothing about it five minutes after it is done with. 
We were in fine health and spirits. The evening on deck was 



200 OCKANA 

delightful, the sea like a mirror, the air tropically soft, the 
twilight sliding into night, and the stars shining out calm and 
oft and clear. I made acquaintance with the young priest 
His coat was threadbare, his cheeks were lean, his eyes were 
eager and dreamy.^ We talked much, and at first chiefly on 
theology. I observed in him what I have seen in many 
Catholics lately, since it has become their r6le to fall in with 
modern ideas a profession of respect for the rights of con- 
science. Every man, he said, was bound to act according to 
his own honestly entertained convictions. For a Protestant 
to become a Catholic, unless he was converted at heart to the 
truth of Catholic doctrines, would be a mortal sin. To con- 
strain the conscience by temporal pains and penalties was 
wicked. It would follow, though he did not say so, that a 
Catholic whose faith in the Church became shaken, might 
lawfully indeed must become a Protestant. What Liberal 
could desire more t 

A lady convert to Romanism once told me that she had 
1 gone over ' out of prudence. Protestants admitted that 
Catholics might be saved. Catholics insisted that out of the 
Church there was no salvation possible, therefore the safest 
place was with them. I suppose, according to my young 
friend's view of the matter, this was a sin. I could not share 
his opinion that it was right for average people to go by their 
own judgment in so serious a matter as religion. Average 
men are too ignorant to be capable of forming a judgment on 
such subjects. I found myself, rather to my amusement, 
arguing with a priest in defence of authority. I asked him 
whether an officer who was not satisfied about the justice 
of any particular war ought to refuse to fight and to abandon 
the profession of his life. He saw no difficulty in deciding 
that the officer would be bound to throw up his commission. 
I might have asked him whether he held Luther to have been 
right in leaving the Church when he came to the conclusion 
that the Church was teaching lies. But I did not wish to be 
captious ; I thought him an innocent and interesting person, 
and rather liked him. On further acquaintance I found that 
he was not a priest only but a patriot, and that he waa going 



AN IRISH PRIEST 201 

back to Ireland, not on business of his order, but to witness, 
and perhaps assist at, the resurrection of his country. 
Patriotism was hereditary with him: he was the great-nephew 
of Father John, who commanded the Wexford insurgents at 
Vinegar Hill. He had written a book, said to be popular, on 
the rising of 1798, and was about to write another. He did 
not wish to separate Ireland from England. Restore to Ire- 
land the constitution of 1782, he said, and all would be well. 
Englishmen and Irishmen, Protestants and Catholics, lambs 
and lions, would lie down together, and the new era would 
begin. No one seems to remember that the constitution of 
1782 was Protestant ascendency the Upas tree in fullest 
leaf. Catholics had not so much as votes at the elections 
for Grattan's Irish Parliament, and obtained them only on 
England's insistence. They might have waited till Doomsday 
in the afternoon before the Irish gentry would have deliberately 
committed suicide by opening the doors to them. I seemed 
now to understand the sudden zeal for toleration. If Irish 
Emancipation was to be anything save a signal for civil war, 
the strife of creeds must cease, and the Protestant North must 
be conciliated to the Catholic South. The idea was not new ; 
the original leaders in 1798, Wolfe Tone, Hamilton Rowan, 
<fec., were not Catholics. The chief of the Irish Parliamentary 
party, Ireland's present c uncrowned king,' is not a Catholic. 
In the obliteration of religious party lines lies the hope of every 
rational Irishman who desires the repeal of the Act of Union. 
They have the sense to see that to revive the principles of 
1641, and retaliate on Protestant ascendency by Catholic 
despotism, would make an end of them and their cause this 
time for ever. I believe myself that, with or without tolera- 
tion, the revival of an Irish nationality is equally a dream. 
No cause ever prospered which was initiated by dynamite ex- 
plosions and murders and repudiated contracts. The modern 
movement must come at last, as all similar movements have 
come in times past, to broken heads. Nationalities are not to 
be made by Parliamentary oratory flavoured by assassination. 
Yet there was something interesting and even pathetic to me 
in the conversation of this new victim of the old illusion. 



tt OCEANA 

It was late summer, answering to the end of our August. 
In the latitude of 35 the temperature of the sea- water was 
76, the air was motionless, the Pacific, oh which we were now 
entering, unruffled by the smallest wave ; but even under 
these conditions we could sleep soundly and peacefully. The 
absolutely pure atmosphere flows over deck and through cabin 
in the soft breeze which is due to the vessel's motion. In the 
morning, I was just conscious of some object flitting about my 
berth. When I roused myself I found my faithful ' Johnnie 
had arranged clothes and washing things with the silence and 
neatness of a Brownie. There was a spacious deck-house 
dignified by the name of the Social Hall, where the passengers 
collected before breakfast, and which was all day their 
favourite lounge. When I entered there was a miscellaneous 
crowd there of all sorts and nations. ' Sir,' said one of them 
rising, and addressing himself to me in a loud voice, ' St. Paul 
says, Corinthians ii. 7.' He stopped. I waited to hear what 
St. Paul had said, but nothing came, so I bowed. He then 
began again to all of us, 'St. Paul, in E^hesians v.' But he 
advanced no further, and sat down, looking round him with 
importance. There were many colonists on board of a type 
somewhat different from those that I had hitherto met. They 
were good people, but a little consequential, and presuming that 
I wanted information, were eager to bestow it upon me. ' I, 
sir,' said one, ' was for three years in Her Majesty's service. I 
was second manager of Her Majesty's Kangaroo Department ; 
I was Director-General of such and such a company ; I was 
treasurer of this or that colonial society. You desire to 
understand the colonies. Without wishing to boast, I can 
assure you that you will find no one better able to instruct yon 
than myself,' kc. ' Excuse me, sir,' said another, ' but I can- 
not regard you as a stranger. I have read your estimable 
writings, sir. Permit me to introduce myself, I am Mr. 

T ,' and he produced his card. There were several more 

of the same kind. To myself they were moat agreeable, for 
they were always amusing one way or another, and they con- 
veyed to me the average opinion of successful colonists who 
had made money and represented colonial sentiment. What 



THE AMERICAN CAPTAIN 103 

they had to tell me was to the same effect precisely as what I 
had heard before. Recent newspapers had brought out Lord 
Grey's letters recommending the constitution of the agents- 
general into a Committee of the Privy Council. They all 
laughed at it. Privy Councillors we might make them, if we 
cared to give and they to accept the title of Right Honour- 
able ; but to entrust them as a corporate body with political 
power was what no colonist would hear of. They agreed with 
me in wishing to have someone to speak for them to the public 
at large, independent of the Colonial Office ; the people were 
now sovereign, and it was always better to deal with principals 
than with subordinates ; but they repudiated, as everyone else 
had done, the notion of colonial representative Peers. A 
colonist might be created a Peer, like anyone else. There 
were Knights and Baronets already, and the ladies of their 
families were supposed to like it. A peerage or two would be 
no great innovation, provided it were understood to mean 
nothing. But peers evidently were held cheap among them, 
and Tennyson, it was supposed, must have been losing his wits 
when he consented to receive so ambiguous an elevation. 

The American captain was good company when one got 
over the brusqueness of his manner. He told me a singular 
thing. I had been looking at his crew, and had been puzzled 
to make out what they were, or how he had picked them up. 
' I make a rule,' he said, ' when I engage my men for a voyage, 
to take no English, no Scotch, no Irish, no Americans. There 
is no getting along with them. They go a-shore in harbour, 
get drunk, get into prison, give me nothing but trouble. It is 
the same with them all, my people and yours equally.' ' Then 
whom do you take t ' I asked in astonishment. ' I take Danes,' 
he answered ; ' I take Norwegians, Germans, Swedes ; all of 
these I can trust. They are sober, they make no row. are 
never in the hands of the police. They save their wages, are 
always quiet and respectable, and I know that I can depend 
on them. The firemen, ship's servants, <fec., are Chinamen ; I 
can trust them too.' I recollect a Portuguese nigger at the 
island of St. Vincent once showing me, with a grin, an iron- 
grated cage, and telling me it waa specially reserved foi 



904 OCEANA 

English sailors. At the time I thought him a malicious lying 
rascal one never knows about these things. 

The second day out the captain pnxnoted us to his own 
table in the saloon, where the fare was slightly improved. 
The weather continued perfectly fine ; the colour of the water 
appeared to me perhaps it was fancy a little different in the 
Pacific from what it is in the South Atlantic and Indian 
Ocean. Always the colour of sea-water is due to the radia- 
tion of the light of the sky upwards, either from the bottom 
when it is shallow, or when out of soundings from organic 
particles floating in solution like motes in the air. Elsewhere 
the deep ocean is violet- tinted : Homer's lot 18779. Between 
Australia and New Zealand it was sapphire, occasionally 
thickening into turquoise. 

A library is always part of the stock of a modern ocean 
steamer. There are religious books some people read nothing 
else there are books of travels for those who want to be 
entertained without feeling that they are wasting their time. 
The great proportion are novels, generally, but not always, 

well-selected. I observed one, by , and being 

curious to see what manner of man he might be who had been 
sitting in judgment on Carlyle, I looked through it. The 
story was of a High Church rector, who seduced his church 
organist, fell in love with his friend's wife, then, to make all 
right, went in violently for religion, and ended in turning 
Papist. It seemed to me to be the worst book I had ever 
read ; but perhaps I was prejudiced. I took the taste out 
with Charles Reade's 'Peg Woffington.' I liked this well 
enough, but it is a play, and not a novel ; all the situations 
are dramatic, and, with a few verbal changes, it could be 
brought on the stage. After all I had to fall back on my own 
supply, Homer and Horace, Pindar and Sophocles. These are 
the immortal lights in the intellectual sky, and shine on un- 
affected by the wrecks of empires or the changes of creeds. 
In them you find human nature, the same yesterday, to-day, 
and for ever. These great ones are beyond the power of Fate, 
and no intellectual revolution can shake them from their 
thrones. I have sometimes thought that the human race has 



CLIMATE AND SOIL OF NEW ZEALAND 205 

passed its spiritual zenith, and will never more bring forth 
kings such as they. 

The distance from Sydney to Auckland is eleven hundred 
miles a five days' passage, for we took things leisurely and 
economised coal. The time went pleasantly, and we did not 
find it too long. In the afternoon of March 2 we passed the 
North Cape of New Zealand, and the hill to which the Maori 
chiefs were carried, dying, that they might take their depar- 
ture from it into the unknown world. We saw nothing to 
explain the custom, save that the northern point of the island 
might be supposed to be nearest the sun ; otherwise, it is like 
other Land's Ends a high, stern, barren, sea-and-wind-swept 
promontory. Auckland is on the east side of the island. 
After doubling the point we turned south, and ran for a hun- 
dred miles along the shore. The sea swarms with fish, but 
there were no fishermen looking for them, and singularly few 
sea-gulls I cannot tell why, as there is such abundant food 
for them. There being a telegraph wire to Auckland, we 
should find news five days later than the last which we had 
heard. We were all anxious. What had happened in Egypt, 
what on the Afghan frontier, what in Ireland, what at home t 
The expectation was that the Ministry would have fallen, and 
I may say that all through my travels I did not meet a single 
person to whom that news at least would not have been wel- 
come hearing. But we were now close upon a new and an 
intensely interesting country, and I believe I was thinking 
more about this than about House of Commons division-lists. 

New Zealand is composed of two long islands lying north 
and south, with a narrow strait between them, and a further 
amall island of no consequence at the south extremity. The 
extreme length of the three is 1,100 miles, with an average 
breadth of 140. The climate ranges from that of Naples in 
the Bay of Islands, to that of Scotland at Foveaux Strait. 
There is abundant rainfall ; there are great rivers, mountains, 
volcanoes, a soil luxuriantly rich, a splendid clothing of mag- 
nificent forest. So far as the natural features of a country 
tend to produce a fine race of men, New Zealand has the 
J vantage of Australia. Australia, too, has hills and rivers. 



to6 OCEANA 

woods and fertile lands, bat unless in the heated plains of the 
interior, which are sublime in their desolation, it has nothing 
to touch the imagination, nothing to develop varieties of 
character. In New Zealand there are mountain ranges 
grander than the giant bergs of Norway ; there are glaciers 
and waterfalls for the hardy hillmen ; there are the sheep- 
walks for the future Meliboeus or shepherd of Salisbury Plain ; 
there are the rich farm -lands for the peasant yeomen ; and 
the coasts, with their inlets and infinite varieties, are a nursery 
for seamen, who will carry forward the traditions of the old 
land. No Arden ever saw such forests, and no lover ever 
carved his mistress's name on such trees as are scattered over 
the Northern Island ; while the dullest intellect quickens into 
awe and reverence amidst volcanoes and boiling springs and 
the mighty forces of nature, which seem as if any day they 
might break their chains. Even the Maories, a mere colony 
of Polynesian savages, grew to a stature of mind and body in 
New Zealand which no branch of that race has approached 
elsewhere. If it lies written in the book of destiny that the 
English nation has still within it great men who will take a 
place among the demigods, I can well believe that it will be 
in the unexhausted soil and spiritual capabilities of New 
Zealand that the great English poets, artists, philosophers, 
statesmen, soldiers of the future will be born and nurtured. 

The North Island is, of course, the warmer of the two. 
Oleanders flower in the gardens there, and orange-trees grow 
in the orchards, and the fern palm in the woods. Auckland, 
which we were approaching, has the average temperature of 
the Riviera. It is one of the oldest settlements in the islands, 
and is interesting, independent of other reasons, as the home 
of Bishop Selwyn and Bishop Patteson. It lies deeply em- 
bayed behind the islets of the Hauraki Gulf. Nature has been 
busy with her scissors, clipping out bays and inlets on both 
ides of the island till at this particular spot she has almost 
out it in two. The isthmus on which Auckland stands is but 
even miles wide. On the east side is the Hauraki Gulf, on 
the west the great harbour of Manakau, which is as large as 
Port Phillip ; and Auckland would have two ports, one in 



MAORI FORTIFICATIONS w>7 

either sea, but for a bar between the Heads of Manakan, over 
which only vessels of light draught can pass. The approach 
through the gulf is very beautiful. Small islands are spread 
along the shore, forming a breakwater, through which the 
channel winds. Those furthest towards the ocean are high 
and hogbacked, with serrated mountainous outlines ; those 
nearest in are recently extinct volcanoes, so recently that OP 
one of the largest of them the cinders on its slopes are not yet 
decomposed ; and though it is covered with trees the ascent 
is so rough as to be impracticable for horse or man. On the 
mainland, all across the isthmus, rise grass-covered craters, 
which seem as if at any moment they might open fire again. 
At Mount Eden, on the skirts of the city, the slag lies in a 
heap at the bottom of the bowl, as if it had cooled but a few 
years ago. The country round is littered with ash and scoria 
whioh were vomited out of Mount Eden and its companions, 
and half the city stands on rock which was once fluid lava. 
Everything speaks of volcanic action, certainly within the last 
few centuries. Vesuvius and Etna slept for ages and burst 
out again ; so may Mount Eden, and the yet more suspicious 
mountain island which closes in the bay. 

Spartacus and his brother gladiators lived among the vines 
in the crater of Vesuvius. These fireplaces of Nature in New 
Zealand were the houses and strongholds of the Maories. All 
this part of the country was densely peopled by them when it 
was first discovered. They preferred the northern island, 
probably because it was warmer, and the Auckland isthmus, 
as commanding the communication between the two parts of 
it, was occupied by them in force. Six or seven of the volcanic 
hills round Auckland were fortified strongholds, all scarped 
and trenched and terraced as neatly as the old Roman camps. 
Their families are supposed to have lived within the lines, 
which, if palisades were added to the spade work, must have 
been impregnable ; and the tribe or tribes which held these 
positions, it is plain from their structure, must have had very 
considerable intelligence. Yet there is the same phenomenon 
whioh puzzles us about so many British and even Roman 
camps which wore laid out on the tops of hills. Mount Eden 

p 



o8 OCEANA 

b 800 feet high. It is waterless, and every drop of water 
which the garrison or the inhabitants required must have been 
carried up from below. 

We had intended to visit both islands : to see Wellington, 
Christchurch, Dunedin ; see Lake Maniponi, Lake Wakatipu 
and the New Zealand Alps. We found that the distances 
were so great and the means of accomplishing them so limited, 
that half our time would be spent in coasting steamers. In 
trying to see everything, we should see nothing properly, and 
we had to limit our ambition. There has not been time for 
local varieties of character to form among the colonists. After 
learning what people were thinking and saying in Auckland, 
we should know tolerably what they thought and said else- 
where. In the North Island only should we have a chance of 
seeing anything of the Maori ; and though Wellington was 
the seat of government, and we should miss the Governor and 
his political surroundings, we determined to take Auckland as 
our headquarters and make excursions from it into the interior. 
In this way we could secure a sight of the hot springs and 
geysers and other natural curiosities. Above all, I could make 
sure of seeing the to us most interesting person or thing which 
New Zealand contained my old acquaintance, Sir George 
Grey, of whom we had heard in England as leading a Robinson 
Crusoe kind of existence on a solitary island in the Hauraki 
Gulf. The sight of New Zealand gave me very strange sensa- 
tions. Forty years before I had thought of emigrating and 
settling there. It was at the revolutionary time which pre- 
ceded the convulsions of 1848, when the air was full of 
socialism and republican equality. Arthur Clough and I had 
come to a conclusion that we had no business to be ' gentle- 
men,' that we ought to work with our hands, <fcc., and so we 
proposed to come to this place and turn farmers. Clough 
wrote hi* 'Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich,' constructed a hero 
who should be the double of himself, married him to a High- 
land lassie, and sent them off instead. I, with all my life 
lying Vichind me, was here at last, but was flitting by like a 
ghost. 
{ Thus then, on the morning of March 4, the 'City of 



BISHOP SELWYWS CHURCH 209 

Sydney ' swept round a projecting headland, and we saw the 
white houses of Auckland spread along the shore of a land- 
locked bay. A few ships rested at theirTnchors, or lay 
alongside the wooden piers, taking in or discharging cargo. 
The town rose steeply from the water-side, with Mount TSden 
behind it. Great works were in progress ; labourers were 
swarming like bees, cutting away a huge projecting cliff to 
enlarge the area of the port. Bishop" Selwyn's church the 
first built in New Zealand stood on the top of the precipice, 
and we arrived just in time to see the roofless walls before 
they disappeared in the falling rubbish. In "a few days the 
church was gone. Sentiment belongs to leisure, and in the 
colonies, just now, they have none of either. The pilot who 
joined us in the offing had brought a newspaper ; we learnt 
about the vote of censure, and tEe Government majority 
reduced to fourteen. I fear no one regretted the end which 
seemed rapidly approaching. The universal feeling, outside 
England, towards the leader of the Liberal party, who has 
been, and perhaps is, so adored at home, has become blind 
in its animosity. He once fallen, people seemed to expect 
that all the woes of which the empire was sick would vanish 
like an unwholesome fog. Unfortunately they will not so 
vanish. When men sow the wind, the seed will grow, though 
others may have to reap the harvest. The good people of 
Auckland at any rate had little to complain of. If war came 
with Russia, there was nothing for them to fear from the 
cruisers from the Amoor; no gathered wealth to tempt 
cupidity. Meanwhile it was the workman's paradise. The 
four eights, that ideal of operative felicity, are here a realised 
fact. 1 Eight shillings a day are the common wages, and no 
able-bodied man who wants employment is at a loss to find it. 
Beef is sixpence a pound, and that is considered dear. Bread 
is not dearer than in England ; fruit and vegetables as much 
cheaper as they are superior in quality. Outdoor grapes may 
be had for the asking, and are good enough for all ordinary 
appetites. There are grapes grown under glass for those who 
can only be satisfied with expensive luxuries. These are three 
1 Eight to work, eight to play, eight to sleep, and eight shilling* a day. 



a io OCEAN A 

and sixpence a pound, and are reserved for the privileged 
classes. A poor clergyman's wife with a sick husband wai 
tempted by the handsome bunches which she saw in a shop 
window. She laid them down with a sigh when she was told 
the price. The shopman pitied her. ' Tisn't the likes of you,' 
he said, ' that can afford them grapes ; we keep them for the 
working men's ladies.' 

The quay was thronged when we brought up. One did not 
see why, for the crowd was only collected to stare at the 
steamer and passengers. It seemed as if the people were so 
well off that they could afford to lounge about like idle gentle- 
men. They were well fed, well dressed, and well humoured, 
with rather more republican equality in their manners than I 
had observed in Australia, but nothing rude or offensive. We 
were going to a ' club ' again, that colonial institution so 
peculiarly precious to travellers, who are thus spared the 
nuisances of hotels. The Northern Club, to which we had 
been invited, was high up the hill a staring, unbeautiful 
building, but internally of ascertained excellence. We were 
soon established there, and found at once a number of ready- 
made friends, all anxious to be of use to us. Interviewers 
were also down upon us, demanding our opinion, as if at the 
pistol's mouth, about confederation, about the Egyptian War, 
about the quarrel with Russia, the House of Commons vote, 
the New South Wales contingent, dec. First, and above all, 
what did we think of New Zealand 1 As at the moment we 
had been but two hours on shore, I pleaded for time before I 
answered. Outside the dining-room there was a large and 
airy verandah, where the club members gathered to smoke and 
talk. Here plans were framed for our movements ; we were 
recommended to go without delay to the hot lakes in the 
middle of the island, and see the wonder of wonders, the 
terraces white and pink, which are waterfalls of silica de- 
posited by the overflow from boiling springs. An expedition 
thither would combine many advantages : we should see on 
the way the finest parts of the North Island great rivers, 
farms, and native forests ; we should see geysers equalled only 
in the Yellowstone district* in the United States ; we should 



AUCKLAND an 

be in the midst of Maori, for the terraces were in the native 
reserve, and could only be visited with their consent. If we 
wished to make the expedition utterly delightful, we could 
take a tent and rods and guns with us, and make the circuit 
of the lakes in a boat, landing at night to sleep and forage ; 
we should catch eels and cray-fish and white fish ; there would 
be ducks on the water and pheasants in the bush. I forgot 
while I listened that I had almost seventy years upon my back 
The associations of youth for a moment brought back the sense 

of strength. E , though he was fifty, was ready to go, 

hardened salmon-fisher and deer-stalker as he was. I, though 
my better sense forbad, could not resolve to say No ; but Sir 
George Grey was coming from his island, so his nephew said, 
to see us, and might be expected to say decisively what we 
ihould do, so we settled to wait for his advice. 

Auckland itself might be 'done' meanwhile. There was 
the original Government House of New Zealand close to the 
Club, where the Governor lived before the new constitution 
removed him to Wellington. There was Bishop Selwyn's 
unpretending ' palace ' and chapel, which the present bishop 
kindly invited us to see. The city was not too large to walk 
over. The situation is picturesque, and the ground has 
been skilfully laid out. There are now 30,000 inhabitants 
there, and they multiply like the rabbits in Australia. Wooden 
houses spring up like mushrooms on every vacant spot decent 
always and sometimes smart. The cost of them is about 2501. 
and they are generally occupied by their owners. Here as 
elsewhere the labourers crowd into the town, for the high 
wages, the music halls, and the drink shops. The municipality 
finds them unlimited employment, by raising loans cheerfully 
in England in hopeful confidence of being able hereafter to 
pay them. Public works form the excuse for the borrowing ; 
and there are works enough and to spare in progress. They 
are laying out a harbour cutting down half a hillside in the 
process suited for the ambitious Auckland that is to be, but 
ten times larger than there is present need of. They are 
excavating the biggest graving dock in the world (the ' Great 
Eastern ' would float in it with ease) preparing for the fleets 



m OCEANA 

which are to make Auckland their head -quarters. All this 
was very spirited, yet I did not find it wholly satisfactory. The 
English race should not come to New Zealand to renew the 
town life which they leave behind them, with a hand-to-mouth 
subsistence as earners of wages on improved conditions. They 
will never grow into a new nation thus. They will grow into a 
nation when they are settled in their own houses and freeholds, 
like their forefathers who drew bow at Agincourt or trailed 
pike in the wars of the Commonwealth ; when they own their 
own acres, raise their own crops, breed their own sheep and 
cattle, and live out their days with their children and grand- 
children around them. Fine men and fine women are not to 
be reared in towns, among taverns and theatres and idle 
clatter of politics. They are Nature's choicest creations and 
can be produced only on Nature's own conditions : under the 
free air of heaven, on the green earth amidst woods and 
waters, and in the wholesome occupation of cultivating the soil. 
The high wages are the town attraction now, but it cannot 
remain so for ever. ' Non his juventus orta parentibus.' The 
young men bred in such towns as Auckland will be good for 
little. Country children alone can be reared up in simple 
tastes and simple habits ; can be taught to obey their parents 
and speak the truth, and work in the working hours, sing and 
dance when work is over, and end and begin their day with a 
few words of prayer to their Maker. All this is out of fashion 
now. The colonies are not alone in their ways. In England, 
in France, in Germany, in America, the town and its pleasures 
are the universal magnet ; the newspaper and the debating 
club are the mental training schools ; and obedience and truth 
and simplicity do not flourish in such an atmosphere. Is this 
centripetal tendency to last for ever f or has our kind school- 
mistress Nature provided for us some rude awakening t 

The city authorities were proud of what they were doing. 
They took us round in a steam-launch, showed us their vast 
excavations, showed us their big dock, and left us astonished 
at the money they were spending. The colony collectively 
and the municipalities separately seem contending which can 
borrow the most handsomely. The State debt is between 



THE KAURI PINE 3 

thirty and forty millions. The debts of the municipalities are 
a startling addition to it. The population, excluding the 
natives, is still under half a million, and prudent people are 
beginning to ask how the interest of all these millions is to be 
provided. To an ordinary observer it is not clear how. The 
workmen discourage immigration, as likely to lower wages. 
Very little is being done, at least in the Northern Island, in 
the way of cultivation ; but they take it generally with a light 
heart, and economy will wait till money can no longer be 
had for asking. One of their chief industries is at present 
destructive. The Kauri pine, of which they have, or had, 
enormous forests, produces the best timber for all purposes 
which grows anywhere on the globe. It is fine-grained, tough, 
tenacious, does not split or splinter in working, does not warp, 
is extremely durable, and is as soft to the chisel as our own 
deal. It has supplied, and still supplies the amber- like Kauri 
gum blocks of crystallised resin, found in the woods where 
these splendid trees have grown. I have seen ornaments cut 
out of it quite as beautiful as if they vrere made of amber. It 
is in consequence a most valuable article of export. The 
Kauri pine takes 800 years to grow. They are cutting it 
down and selling it as fast as axe and saw can work. We saw 
the huge trunks lying in the mud about the quays clean 
stems eighty feet long and six to seven feet in diameter. It is 
counted that at the present rate of consumption they will be 
all gone in thirty years. New Zealand perhaps, like other 
countries, must suffer something for the honour of being 
governed by a Parliament. 

The streets of Auckland were not interesting. The fruit- 
shops pleased me best. There were apples of many kinds, 
some old English sorts which are dying out at home and 
have revived in the new land. Melons, tomatoes, potatoes, 
were all large and abundant. Photography was in fashion 
the mechanical form of art, which serves the purpose of a 
better till a better comes. There were marvellous landscapes, 
lakes, mountains, waterfalls, or, coming to human subjects, 
Maori chiefs and Maori villages. The average shops were 
Cull of English wares, noticeable for being extravagantly dear. 



2i4 OCEANA 

We counted that in Auckland, as well as in Sydney and 
Melbourne, a florin would go no farther than a shilling at 
home, for everything except the necessaries of life. Of native 
manufactures we saw none, save a few Maori weapons and 
trinkets. 

The second day we walked out to Mount Eden, from the 
top of which we had a fine panoramic view over both oceans 
and over a large stretch of the North Island. A few farms 
were in sight, but too thinly scattered. The crater is round as 
a punch-bowl. The slopes are green with English grass. The 
scoria lies loose at the bottom as the last eruption left it. 
The fortifications are untouched ; the spadework so regular 
and so complete that it would have done credit to an engineer 
corps. The other hills in sight seemed all to have had defence 
works of equal strength. At the foot of Mount Eden are a few 
pretty cottage villas, one of which belongs to a gentleman 
whom English intolerance banished from Cambridge, as it 
banished Martin Irving from Oxford, with equal injury to our 
own universities and equal advantage to the colonies. This gen- 
tleman's card we found at our club when we returned, and his 
acquaintance afterwards we counted among our best acquisi- 
tions. I remembered his story when I was reminded of it. 
A good many years before conformity had ceased to be required 
as a condition of advancement, there was a young Mr. Aldis 
who, in the mathematical tripos, was senior wrangler so pre- 
eminent that he had distanced his nearest competitor by two 
thousand marks. A fellowship would have fallen to him as a 
matter of course, and a distinguished university career would 
almost certainly have followed. But Mr. Aldis was a Dissen- 
ter, and the gate was closed in his face. He taught mathe- 
matics for some time at a college at Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
There he married a lady as accomplished and gifted as himself. 
They came to New Zealand, where he has lived ever since as 
a professor at the University of Auckland. 

When I came to know Professor Aldis, and reflected on 
the speculative opinions of so many of the existing fellows and 
tutors at Oxford and Cambridge, I had to wonder at the 
reason which had excluded him as unfit to have a place among 



GEORGE GREY 215 

them ; for Mr. Aldis, in these days of intellectual and spiritual 
emancipation, entirely believes in the Christian religion. 

In the evening Lord Macdonald of the Isles appeared at 
the club, whom we had left at Melbourne. He, I believe, was 
on his way to Japan or Fiji. We found also Mr. Ashbury, of 
yachting celebrity, who had just purchased a large estate in 
the South Island, which he intended for a sheep station. Mr. 
Ashbury had been on a visit to the Maori king, of whose 
hospitality and generosity he gave a warm account. His skin 
had suffered in the royal sleeping apartments, but the king 
had given him a handsome box of presents, and on the whole 
his reception had been gratifying. We had heard of Mr. Ash- 
bury everywhere, as if he was the wandering Jew in appear- 
ance an athlete, who might have sat or stood for the model 
of some ancient sea-king. Late at night Sir George Grey 
came, the steamer from the islands having been detained on 
the passage. I had last seen him in England fourteen years 
ago, then, as always, working for the interest of the colonies, 
and seeking a seat in Parliament to further it. In this he 
had not succeeded. He went back to New Zealand and 
became I believe it is the sole instance of such a thing 
constitutional premier of a colony of which he had once been 
governor. He had the art, so rare in these Imperial officials, 
of gaining the confidence and affection of the people he had 
ruled over. 

Sir George Grey's career is a romance. He began life, I 
think, as an officer in the Engineers, where his many-sided 
talents attracted early notice. He conducted some adven- 
turous exploring expedition into the interior of Australia, and 
in this and other employments he showed so much courage, 
enterprise, and scientific skill that before he was thirty he was 
made governor of the then new colony of South Australia. 
He rose from one situation to another, always respected, 
always liked by those under him ; less liked perhaps by his 
masters at the Colonial Office, but still continued in their service. 
Twenty-five years ago he was Governor at the Cape, and is, I 
believe, the only person that ever held that trying position 
who won the hearts of all classes there English, Dutch, and 



116 OCEANA 

coloured equally ' Send us back Sir George Grey ! ' w is the 
cry of the whole of them when I was there. ' Send us back 
Sir George Grey. He understands us. He will set us right.' 
Perhaps he understood them too well ; at any rate, he took a 
view different in many ways from the views of the Colonial 
Office, and the Colonial Office being infallible, like a Council or 
Papal Synod, it followed that Sir George was wrong. He waa 
recalled in disgrace. He complained ; his case was re-considered 
and he was allowed to return for the rest of his term ; but his 
power for good was gone, and all that he could do was to leave 
a memorial of himself which would deserve the lasting grati- 
tude of the South African people. 

Being a man of most varied acquirements and excellent 
judgment he had formed in the course of his life a valuable col- 
lection of rare books and MSS., old editions, tc. Of these, on 
his departure, he made a present to the Colony, and they form 
the principal part of the present excellent public library in 
Cape Town. Sir George's statue stands in the gardens under 
the window, and if the Cape colonists were given to idolatry 
they would worship at that spot. 

He was Governor at New Zealand during the last and 
worst Maori war, and more than any other person succeeded in 
bringing it to an amicable end. The Maori had long inter- 
ested him. As early as 1852 he had collected and published 
a volume of Maori songs and ballads. He spoke and wrote 
their language, and, without a tinge of weak sentimentalism, 
appreciated their many noble qualities. In the war itself he 
showed energy and firmness. When it was over he saved the 
remnant of the defeated race from extermination, or from the 
serfdom and beggary into which they must have fallen if their 
lands had been taken from them. They were left with their 
independence, and the fine and still extensive territory which 
they now occupy. The natives call him their ' white father.' 
Among the colonists he stands by the poor man against the 
rich, by the labourer when he has a question with the capital- 
ist, and consequently he is as much loved by the great body 
of the people in New Zealand as he was loved at the Cape. 

Sir George had pre-eminently the art of persuasion. The 



SfR GEORGE GREY 217 

tiff-necked council at the Cape, I was told, had no will when 
Sir George was present, and accepted whatever he proposed 
without question. Certainly it is unfortunate, it is a sign of 
something not as it ought to be, that with so unique a person 
in their employment a person who could conciliate instead of 
irritating, and succeeded in all that he undertook the 
Colonial Office should have let him drop ; nay, should have 
conceived against him something like settled displeasure. But 
so it has been. Even now, at this late hour of the day, Sir 
George could, perhaps, set things right in South Africa. But 
the officials will not give him the chance of trying. His popu- 
larity is their own condemnation. 

His connection with the Government being at an end, and 
having failed in his attempt for a seat in the English Parlia- 
ment, Sir George Grey finally settled in New Zealand. He 
bought one of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, called Kawau, 
or Cormorant Island, about thirty miles from Auckland. 
Kawau, at the beginning of the present century, was a nest of 
native pirates, who robbed and plundered, harried the coast, 
carried their prisoners into the forest there, and dined upon 
them. The coast tribes combined to make an end of these 
freebooters, invaded Kawau, defeated and destroyed them. 
The island, left vacant, and showing signs of containing 
minerals, fell next into the hands of a company, who have 
left their monuments behind them in shafts, and broken sheds, 
and fallen chimneys, and beams and scaffold-poles. But the 
company failed, and Kawau was again deserted, till Sir 
George Grey's eye was caught by its capabilities. Like most 
men of fine intellect, he had a taste for solitude, or at least 
for the possibility of solitude when he wished for it. He pur- 
chased the island from the Government, and built a handsome 
house there. Before his door he constructed a causeway or 
quay running into the sea, where coasting steamers can lie 
alongside. He planted every tree that he knew of in any part 
of the world which had a chance of growing there. He laid 
out a garden, where, among orange-groves and figs and pears, 
the choicest hothouse flowers blossom carelessly, having been 
once introduced. Into the interior of his little kingdom he 



18 OCEANA 

brought elk, red deer, fallow deer, roe, wild hog, and wallaby. 
He has wild turkeys there and wild peacocks anything and 
everything. He engaged men whom he knew and could de- 
pend on to manage his farms and woods, his sheep and cattle, 
his own grounds and gardens. He settled them, with their 
families, in substantial houses ; and in democratic New 
Zealand he established a patriarchal monarchy, held together 
by the singular personal attachment which he is able to com- 
mand. Having given away his first precious book collection, 
he gathered a second, perhaps even more curious than the 
first. He has specimens of the earliest printed volumes, 
English or German, volumes of old engravings, original 
MSS., some oriental, some belonging to our own Common- 
wealth period of the highest historical value, <kc. There he 
lives amidst his intellectual treasures, in the midst of depen- 
dants who look on him more as a father than a master ; his 
house always open to men of science, to the superior colonists, 
to strangers who have a better purpose than curiosity in seek- 
ing his acquaintance. A weekly post brings his letters and 
the periodic literature of Europe. When the Legislature is in 
session, he leaves his island for Wellington and his duties as a 
member of the Council. If he has bitter enemies as well as 
warm friends, it is a sign that he is ttill an effective power in 
New Zealand politics. 

I gathered these particulars about Sir George in the Auck- 
land club, my acquaintance with him in London having been 
merely superficial. When he arrived I found him more 
changed than I had expected. Fourteen years had aged him ; 
his hair was white ; his stop, which had been elastic and firm, 
was now feeble ; the outer rim oTthe iris of his violet eyes had 
lost its colour, but the fire was still burning at the bottom of 
them. His voice was clear as ever, his interest as keen, his 
mind and memory as quick, and tenacious as in his brightest 
days, and in what he said there was the calmness of a man no 
longer harassed by personal cares and ambitions, conscious of 
having made a full use of the faculties which had been allotted 
him in his own time, and contented to be for the future 
mainly a looker-on. His temperament was not excitedly 



TOUR IN INTERIOR OF NORTH ISLAND 219 

hopeful, but also not despondent. A simple but genuine 
evangelical piety controlled the issues of all his speculations. 
He believes absolutely in Providence ; he has a fixed convic 
tion that the Lord of all the earth will do what is right. 

He pressed us to visit him. We needed no pressing. Of 
all our prospects a stay for a few days at Kawau was the 
most inviting. He agreed, however, that we must go first 
to the lakes and see all that we could of the interior of the 
North Island on the way. He wrote letters for us to various 
Maori chiefs. He even himself proposed to go with us, or 
follow us, that he might introduce us to the king. Go imme- 
diately he could not, and our time was limited. He promised 
to send instructions after us for our future movements ; he 
sketched a plan for us which excluded the boat expedition 
we had to choose between that and Kawau, and we preferred 
the latter but included everything else of real interest. \ The 
railroad would take us a hundred miles of the way ; a carriage 
was ordered to carry us over the sixty that would remain 
before we reached the centre of the lake district. Sir George 
went with us to the station and saw us off upon our way 
myself, my son, and E . 



CHAPTER XV. 

Tour in the interior of the North Island Aspect of the country A colonial 
magnate Federation, and the conditions of it The Maori Cambridge 
at the Antipodes The Waikato Valley Colonial administration Oxford 
A forest drive The Lake Country Rotorua Ohinemutu The mineral 
baths A Maori settlement The Lake Hotel 

IT was March 6 when we started. Autumn was upon us 
now ; the morning was sultry, but rain had laid the dust the 
day before, and we could keep the carriage- windows down. 
We had seen from Mount Eden that we should pass through 
an interesting district. For the first few miles we were among 
country houses and farms, and free plantations of the universal 
Pinus insignia, which grows in a few yean into a huge tree, 



no OCEANA 

has not roots enough to support so large a body, and is torn op 
by the winds. It is not at all unusual after a storm to see 
long rows of these pines lying prostrate. In a year or two a 
fresh row will be springing in its place. Cultivation became 
scarcer as we advanced. We could see in the cuttings that 
the soil was deep and rich, but it was covered either with 
ferns (the common bracken), which form a natural carpet, the 
fronds folding one upon another and shielding the entire sur- 
face with an impenetrable envelope, or else with the Ti-tree 
bush, which we supposed at first, and when we saw it at a 
distance, to be tall heather. But the resemblance is a mere 
accident. The Ti-tree is a shrub with a strong, close-grained, 
remarkably tough and heavy stem, rising sometimes, but 
rarely, to thirty feet in height, generally to about seven or 
eight. The Maori use it to fence their cabins and villages, 
and of this was formed the palisades round the pahs of which 
we used to hear in the war. The troops found them formid- 
able defences, and could only cut through them with the axe. 

Of land cleared and cleaned for crops or grazing we saw 
very little, there being a marked difference in this respect 
between New Zealand and Australia. In the Northern 
Island of New Zealand there is little natural grass available 
for feeding. The fern takes the place of it. When a piece of 
ground is taken up for cultivation the fern has first to be burnt 
off, the soil then ploughed or perhaps raked over, and sown 
with grass seed from England ; but it requires constant 
watching and careful stocking or the enemy will be over it 
again. The difficulty is light compared to the work of clear- 
ing the forests in Victoria and New South Wales, but it has 
been enough to daunt the New Zealand settler. A worse 
enemy than even the fern is the sweet-briar, imported long 
ago by the missionaries, who liked to surround themselves 
with pleasant home associations. At home so chary of growth, 
the wild rose expands here into vast bushes, becomes a weed 
and spreads like a weed. It overruns whole fields in two or 
three seasons, will turn a cleared farm into an impenetrable 
thicket, and has to be torn out with cart-ropes and teams of 
horaea. Early in the day we came on the great Waikato, a 



ROAD TO THE LAKES MI 

river larger than the Rhine at Strasburg, swift, deep, and 
smooth a powerful volume of water, and available for 
steamer traffic far into the interior. Where the shores are low 
the stream overflows, forming vast marshes, brilliantly green 
with reed and rush and New Zealand flax, and waiting for 
reclamation, which will be easy when tried. The cost of the 
works at Auckland would dry hundreds of thousands of acres. 
At intervals were patches of the primitive forest, the trees 
round the edges being generally dead, and the forest tending 
always when approached by cultivation to dwindle away, just as 
wild birds and wild animals dwindle away. The free organ- 
isms of the desert, vegetable as well as animal, dislike the 
neighbourhood of civilised man. We saw very few home- 
steads or settlers' houses. The farming, where there was 
any, seemed to be carried on by companies who were rearing 
cattle on a large scale, or by servants or agents of large pro- 
prietors. The train stopped for luncheon at an hotel in a 
rocky gorge, where the Waikato divides, and another river 
falls into it.^When we took our seats again, a tall elderly 
gentleman, who, from the deference which was shown to him, 
was evidently a person of importance, crossed the carriage and 
sat down by me. He began to talk, and I found he was Mr. 

F , one of the largest landowners in the North Island, and 

chief representative of the Capitalist party. Besides owning 
land he was a prosperous merchant, had shares in gold mines, 
<fee. in short was a considerable man. He had an estate of over 
50,000 acres in the direction in which we were going, and was 
on his way thither at that moment. He was experimenting 
on Calif ornian methods, introducing American farm machinery 
&c., and he gave me a mort kind invitation to visit his estab< 
lishment, of which I was sorry to be unable to avail myself. 

Mr. F , I gathered, was of a different way of thinking from 

Sir George Grey. Sir George Grey was for peasant proprietors 

and freeholders, like the old English yeomen j Mr. F was 

for political economy, legitimate influence of capital, and large 
estates owned by men who had means and knowledge to de- 
velop their resources. The old story over again in a new 
country. I was~glad to hear both sides of the question. He 



in OCEANA 

had ranch to Bay about federation federation especially with 
the mother country, for which he seemed as decided an advo- 
cate as Mr. Dalley himself, though of course upon condition*. 
He told me that he had, been thirty years in the Colony, that 
he had been once a Whig, as it was easy to see that he must 
have been, but was now a Conservative, because he hoped 
from the Conservatives a sounder Colonial policy. New Zea- 
landers, he said, were democrats in their own country, but 
were Imperialists to a man in the insistence upon English 
connectionX He was most hearty in his general language, 
though when he came to details and to the measures which 

were to be taken, I found the practical Mr. F as visionary 

as if he had been no wiser than myself. He wanted the 
Empire to be confederated on the principle of a Zollverein, 
with differential duties in favour of the Colonies and against 
the foreigner, especially on corn and sugar. Wheat would 
then rise to fifty shillings a quarter and everybody would be 
benefited ; the Colonies would instantly knit themselves to us 
as tightly as we pleased ; the English farmer would be set on 
his feet again ; labourers and mechanics might pay more for 
their loaf, but where they lost a shilling they would gain two 
in the higher wages which universal prosperity would ensure 
to them. In short, this one measure would make the British 

Empire the happiest and strongest in the world. Mr. F 

was a man of cultivation and could illustrate his arguments 
from other subjects. Free trade, he admitted, might be a 
law of Nature, but Nature had many laws, and, when occa- 
sion required, superseded one by another. It was a law of 
Nature that all substances should expand by heat and contract 
by cooling. But water when it became ice did not contract, 
but expanded and floated, and it was owing to this provision 
that mankind were able to exist. If ice were to sink, such a 
mass of it would accumulate in the Polar circles as to change 
the climate of the globe and make it uninhabitable. This was 

prettily said, and Mr. F evidently believed the force of 

his own arguments. I did not contradict him. I was certain 
only that his ' one measure ' would never be tried, and that if 
Imperial Confederation could only be brought about by a Pro- 



THE MAORI M3 

tection tariff we should hare to wait for it till the Greek 
kalends. 

He was a clever man, however, and had other things to 
say well worth attending to. He had lived much among the 
Maori ; we were passing through the chief scenes of the last 
great native war, and he pointed out the spots where anything 
interesting had happened. He had known many of the mis- 
sionaries, too, in the days of their consequence. They do not 
flourish now, being an organisation suited better to Crown 
colonies than to local constitutional governments, and their 
work among the Maori has shrunk far within its old dimensions. 
So much passion gathers about these good people and their 
doings that it is difficult to learn anything about them which 
it is possible to believe. So extravagant is the praise of the 
few, so violent the abuse from the many, that I was glad to 
hear a rational account of them from a moderate and well-in- 
formed man. 

The Maori, like every other aboriginal people with whom 
we have come in contact, learn our vices faster than our virtues. 
They have been ruined physically, they have been demoralised 
in character, by drink. They love their poison, and their 
grateful remembrance of the missionaries has taken the form 
of attributing the precious acquisition to them. ' Missionaries 
good men,' they say ; ' brought three excellent things with 
them gunpowder, rum, and tobacco.' One need not defend 
the missionaries against having brought either the one or the 
other ; but it is true that, both in New Zealand and elsewhere, 
the drink has followed them, as their shadow. They have 
opened the road, and the speculative traders have come in 
behind them, and they have fought in vain against the appetite 
when it has been once created. The Maori do not distinguish 
between the use and the abuse, and they have humour in them, 

as a story shows which Mr. F told me. A missionary and 

a chief, whose name I think was Tekoi it will do at any rate 
were intimate friends. The chief had great virtues : he was 
brave, he was true, he was honest but he could not resist 
ruin. Many times the missionary found him drunk, and at 
last said to him, ' Tekoi, good man, I love you much. Don't 



234 OCR AN A 

drink firewater. If you do, Tekoi, you will lose your property, 
you will lose your character, you will lose your health, and in 
the end your life. Nay, Tekoi, worse than that, you will lose 
your immortal souL' Tekoi listened with stony features. He 
went away. Days passed, and weeks and months, and the 
missionary saw no more of him. It seemed, however, that he 
was not far off and was biding his time. About a year after, 
one stormy night, the missionary, who had been out upon his 
rounds, came home drenched and shivering. The fire burnt 
bright, the room was warm ; the missionary put on dry clothes, 
had his supper, and felt comfortable. He bethought himself 
that if he was to make sure of escaping cold, a glass of hot 
whisky-punch before he went to bed would not be inexpedient. 
His Maori servant brought in the kettle. The whisky bottle 
came out of the cupboard, with the sugar and lemons. The 
fragrant mixture was compounded and just at his lips, when the 
door opened, a tattooed face looked in, a body followed, and there 
stood Tekoi. ' Little father/ he said, ' do not drink firewater. 
If you drink firewater, little father, you will lose your pro- 
perty, you will lose your character, you will lose your health. 
Perhaps you will lose your life. Nay, little father, you will 

lose But that shall not be. Your immortal soul is more 

precious than mine. The drink will hurt me less than it will 
hurt you. To save your soul, I will drink it myself.' 

Another story which Mr. F told me showed that the 

Maories' questions were as troublesome, occasionally, to the 
missionaries as the inquiring Zulu was to Bishop Colenso. 
One of them being threatened if he was wicked with being 
sent to outer darkness where fire and brimstone burnt for 
ever, said, ' I don't believe that. How can there be darkness 
where a fire is always burning '( ' 

Mr. P took leave of us at a side station ; in another 

half-hour we were at the terminus, a hundred miles from 
Auckland, at a place which bore the ambitious name of Cam- 
bridge. Oxford was twenty miles further, on the coach road 
to the lakes, and the names at least of the two great English 
universities had been revived at the antipodes. Cambridge 
was a large and fast-growing settlement, a village developing 



CAMBRIDGE AT THE ANTIPODES 2*5 

into a town, on the edge of the Maori location, to which it 
had once belonged. It was forfeited after the war. The land 
all round is excellent. The houses, hastily built, were all, or 
most of them, of wood ; but they were large and showy. A 
post-office, a town hall, a public library, and a church indi- 
cated a busy centre of life and energy. 

There were two hotels, with extensive stables, with boards 
indicating that post horses and carriages were provided there. 
Coaches, breaks, waggonettes were standing about, and there 
were all the signs of considerable traffic. It meant that Cam- 
bridge was the point of departure to the hot lakes, to and 
from which swarms of tourists were passing and repassing. 
The attraction was partly the picturesque and wonderful cha- 
racter of the scenery j but the sulphur-springs had become 
also a sanitary station. The baths were credited with mira- 
culous virtues, and were the favourite resort of invalids, not 
only from New Zealand towns, but even from Sydney and 
Melbourne. 

We had been directed to the least tumultuous of the Cam- 
bridge hotels. We found a table cFhdte laid out there for forty 
people at least, some going up and some returning. We fall 
in with acquaintances when we least look for them. A 
gentleman present told me that he had met me at dinner in 
London ten years before. The food was tolerable ; we found, 
for one thing, New Zealand honey especially excellent, taken 
from the nests of the wild bees, which are now in millions all 
over the colony. They are the offspring of two or three hivea 
which were kept, when I was at Oxford, in the rooms of 
Cotton of Christchurch, between whom and his bees there was 
such strong attachment that a bodyguard of them used to 
attend him to lecture and chapel. Cotton went to New Zealand 
with Bishop Selwyn, and took his bees with him, and they 
have multiplied in this marvellous manner. The roads in new 
countries are not macadamised ; they are mere tracks smoothed 
with a spade, and in wet weather and in soft soil, hoof and 
wheel cut considerable holes in them. Travelling therefore 
has its difficulties. We had bespoken a light carriage and 
four horses ; the distance which we had to go was but sixty 



296 OCEANA 

mile*, and the charge was twelve pound*. But the price, of 
all things, is what people are willing to pay ; and Australians 
with long purses and easy temper spoil the market for strangers 
less amply provided. We found, too, afterwards that the 
regular coach would have taken us for a third of the cost. 
Knowledge, like other things, has to be paid for. We went 
early to bed : I to be bitten by mosquitoes again and spend a 
night of misery. Breakfast next morning might have been a 
compensation could we have seen clearly what we were eating j 
but tablecloth, plates, and dishes were black with house-flies. 
The sugar-basin swarmed with them, and the milk was only 
saved by a cover over the jugs. They followed the forks into 
our mouths ; they plunged into our teacups and were boiled. 
I should have said that I never anywhere saw so many of these 
detestable vermin, had we not found even more at the place to 
which we were bound. 

Small miseries which do no harm we execrate and forget 
the next minute. By nine o'clock we were off, the coach -pro- 
prietor condescending to cond act us and explain the wonders 
of the road. The scene was utterly new ; something fresh 
and unexpected met us at every turn. On the whole it was 
the most interesting drive which I remember in the course of 
my life. 

From Cambridge to Oxford we passed through an open 
rolling country, with hardly an inclosure, hardly a trace of 
cultivation anywhere. It was not the fault of the soil, which 
was richer than ever. The dense, unbroken covering of ferns 
was a sufficient prophecy of the crops which it would one day 
produce. So long as we were on the Colonial territory, and 
had not entered the Reserve, the land was the property of 
capitalists, either in the Colony or out of it, who had bought 
on speculation for the calculated rise in value. It was waiting 
for occupation till the owners chose to sell, and the centrifugal 
forces to be looked for hereafter dispersed the city crowds. 
The road followed the line of the Waikato, high above the 
broad valley which the river had scooped out for itself ; and 
it was evident, from the series of flat terraces which we saw 
on the opposite side, that there had once been a series of lakes 



WAIKATO VALLEY 27 

through which the river had run, and that at successive and 
apparently sudden intervals the barriers had been broken 
through and the lake-levels lowered forty or fifty feet at a 
time, the process being repeated at intervals till the lakes 
were gone and the rivers flowed with an uninterrupted stream. 
Earthquakes, common enough in the North Island, have been 
suggested as the workmen whom Nature employed in her 
engineering, and the signs of volcanic action are so universal 
that this explanation easily presents itself ; but the uniform 
and strictly horizontal character of the terraces indicated to 
me less violent methods. It is curious that the Maori tradi- 
tions speak of lakes having once filled this valley. The Maori 
are not supposed to have been more than five hundred years 
in New Zealand, and it would follow either that the opening 
of the river's channel falls within this period, or that the 
Maori intellect was prematurely scientific and drew the same 
conclusions which we draw from the same phenomena. 

The road rose steadily till we were 1,600 feet above the 
sea, but the soil continued of the same extraordinary natural 
fertility. I could not but think what a country New Zealand 
might become, what a population it might bear, what a splen- 
did race of Southern English might be reared in this still 
desert treasure-house of agricultural wealth if it were wisely 
ruled. Two Houses of Legislature, 160 members in all, each 
receiving 200 guineas a year of wages, each with an eye to his 
own interests, and returned by constituencies equally keen for 
their own j the power virtually in the hands of labourers and 
workmen jealous of immigration lest it should lower the rate 
of wages j influences at work everywhere which we need not 
call corrupt because the most respectable of us in the same 
situation would probably act in precisely the same way is not 
the happiest conceivable form of government for a people not 
yet numbering half a million, and possessed of a country as 
extensive as the United Kingdom, with even larger natural 
resources. 

The result, so far as a stranger can see, is the soil left waste 
and waiting for the ploughman's hand, an enormous debt still 
fast accumulating, and rich and poor gentlemen, peasant* 



g OCEANA 

mechanics gathering, like flocks of gulls above the carrion, in 
the big towns. A wise governor, a wise president, if he had 
full authority and was not troubled with the necessity of con- 
ciliating parliamentary interests, would surely manage thing! 
better. In the early stages of society monarchy is the best 
kind of rule, provided you can get the right man for monarch. 
The hereditary principle gives you a Behoboam to succeed 
Solomon. The elective principle gives you occasionally a 
sensible man, but just as often a popular orator. Where a 
country has to settle its administration for itself, it must do 
the best that it can. But a British colony might be in so 
exceptionally favoured a condition that it could have a monarch 
neither a fool by inheritance nor a false idol by popular mis 
take. The Home Government has at their disposition a body 
of tried and faithful public servants. It might select the best 
of them, appoint him for seven or ten years, and leave him 
uninterfered with for his term of office. At the end of it he 
might be called to account and rewarded or discredited accord- 
ing to results. Such a governor would work miracles in such 
a country as New Zealand. Alas that he should be as chime* 

rical as Mr. F 's Zollverein ! We know as a fact that 

Home ministers can appoint no one to high posts with a sole 
consideration of their fitness. Colonial governorships are 
patronage, and must be distributed to ' blood the noses of the 
hounds.' To such governors the colonies cannot be expected 
to trust themselves, and in default of this, if I were a New 
Zealander, I should desire an elective president like the Presi- 
dent of the United States, uncontrolled, except in taxation, 
by a popular chamber. He would put an end, for one thing, 
to the borrowing process, and the land would be within the 
reach of poor men who have no capital except their labour. 
It was disgusting to see, on one side, a beautiful country open- 
ing its arms to occupation, holding out in its lap every blessing 
which country life can offer ; and on the other, cities like 
Auckland, crammed like an overcrowded beehive, the beet 
neglecting the natural flowers and feeding on borrowed sugar 
Cambridge had not exactly reminded ui of its academic 
uameaake : Oxford had even less resemblance. Instead of 



OXFORD AT THE ANTIPODES 229 

domes and towers, and colleges and cloistered avenues, the 
Oxford of the Antipodes consisted of a solitary wayside inn 
on the ridge of a high range of hills, the desert round it, not 
a stick or a bush visible save Ti-tree far and wide. At the 
back was a garden luxuriant enough with melons and gourds 
and peas and cabbages. Besides these I saw here for the first 
time the Maori potato, shaped like ours, but purple inside and 
out. In default of slate, stone, or wood, the paths and walks 
were edged on either side with empty bottles, relics of the 
beer and gin which had been consumed on the premises. The 
owner, a large, good-humoured, energetic-looking man, was 
busy sinking a well in his back yard. As the ground in front 
of the house sloped directly down five hundred feet to the 
river, and the hill was made of porous gravel and sand, I told 
him that he would probably have to sink his well to the river 
level before he would find water, and that in fact an American 
forcing-engine worked by the river itself would be more 
economical and at least as effectual. He agreed on the whole, 
but preferred to persist in his own method. 

We stopped at Oxford only to change horses. A few miles 
further on we crossed into the land of the Maori and plunged 
into twenty miles of unbroken forest, a forest which was a 
forest indeed ; trees all new to me, from 160 to 200 feet high, 
many of them reminding me in form and character of the 
Australian gum-tree, with which I believe they have no affinity 
whatsoever, as if air and climate tended to reproduce the same 
colours and outlines in organisms entirely distinct. The Kauri 
is the grandest of the New Zealand forest princes. He stands 
alone, allows no undergrowth beneath his shade, and clears an 
open space about him. Next the Kauri conies the Totara, 
sometimes soaring up with a smooth stem like the giant 
Eucalyptus, sometimes coiled round with a serpent- like para- 
site, the Rata, which in time strangles the life out of him and 
takes the place of what it has murdered. After these come 
cypress, black pine, Puketu all tall forest trees and below, 
in infinite variety, great shrubs, if you may call them so, with 
large glossy leaves, like magnolia or laurel, aromatic bushes, 
flowering buthes with scented blossoms, and winding about the 



ajo OCEANA 

branches of them all, miscellaneous creepers strange to me, 
which climbed till they could climb no longer, and decorated 
the tree-tops with colours not their own. Except under the 
Kauri, there is usually a dense thicket. The tree-fern has 
here its chosen home, and the Australian appears like a dwarf 
to it. The fern-palm (not properly a fern at all) is equally 
beautiful, and might be mistaken for the tree-fern at a dis- 
tance, save that the leaves spring singly from the stem in an 
ascending spiral, instead of bursting together out of the crest. 
Of other ferns, small and large, there is no end. Even tourists 
can make no impression on them. The impulse of destruction 
in the tourist nature is vigorous as at home, but nature is too 
prolific and the supply is infinite. The New Zealand ferns are 
famous all over the world. I saw somewhere a collection of 
them, pressed, interleaved, and bound magnificently in Russian 
leather and gold. It had been ordered for a European monarch. 
I turned it over. It was not a good collection : small scraps 
had been pinched from off fronds which might be twenty feet 
long ; with no drawing, sketch, or even description of the 
plant as it grew, only some idly ornamental bits of grass, or 
moss, or wild flowers gummed about it as a setting, meaning- 
less and foolish. I could not but protest slightly. 'Good 
enough for a king,' was the answer which I seemed to get, but 
my hearing is not entirely to be depended on. 

A track had to be cut with the axe for the road on which 
we were travelling, permission being purchased from the 
Maoris to whom the wood belongs. Thirty feet or so had 
been cleared on either side of the carriage-way, to let in air 
and light, and the vast trunks lay stretched as they had 
fallen, one upon another, thousands and tens of thousands of 
tons of the finest timber left to rot. Nay, not even to rot, for 
they had set them on fire where they could, and the flames 
spreading to the forest had seized the trees which were nearest, 
and there they were standing scorched, blackened, and leafless. 
We went through absolutely twenty miles of this. Such 
wanton and lavish destruction I must have seen to have 
believed. The Maoris are too indolent to use the timber and 
too careless to sell it. The white colonist can get as much ai 



OHINEMUTU 231 

he wants elsewhere. It was really painful to look at, and it 
was a relief when we emerged into open land and sunshine. 
There are unnumbered pheasants in these woods. I asked 

E , who is a famous battue shot, what he could make of 

rocketers over the tops of the Totaras. The gun is not made 
which would bring down a bird from such a height. 

Once more in the clear country, we saw in the distance 
a blue, singular range of mountains, while immediately under- 
neath us, a thousand feet down, stretched a long, greenish 
lake with an island in the middle of it, and a cluster of white 
houses six miles off standing on the shore. The lake was 
Rotorua ; the white houses were Ohinemutu, the end of our 
immediate journey. As we drew nearer to our destination 
both Ohinemutu and the district touching it seemed to -be on 
fire. Columns of what appeared to be smoke were rising out 
of the Ti-tree bush, from the lake shore, and from the ditches by 
the roadside. We should have found the lake itself lukewarm 
if we could have dipped our hands in the water. At length we 
reached the foot of a steep bit of road, ascended it, and found 
ourselves at the door of our hotel, lodging-house, boarding-house 
whatever we please to call it. There were two in the place, 
as at Cambridge, which of course were rivals. Stables, stores, 
and shops were sprinkled about miscellaneously, and all round 
lay a primitive Maori village, consisting of perhaps a hundred 
or a hundred and fifty families, descendants of the warrior 
tribes who within living memory had fought fierce and bloody 
battles on these waters, and had cooked their prisoners at these 
natural fireplaces. The smoke which we had seen was steam 
rising from boiling springs alkaline, siliceous, sulphuretted, 
and violently acid not confined, too, exactly to the same spot, 
but bursting out where they please through the crust of the 
soil. You walk one day over firm ground, where the next 
you find a bubbling hole, into which if you unwarily step, 
your foot will be of no further service to you. These springs 
extend for many miles ; they are in the island on the lake ; 
they must be under the lake itself to account for its tempera- 
ture. Across the water among the trees a few miles off, a tall 
oolumn of steam ascends, as if from an engine. Tt arises from 



*3* OCEANA 

a gorge where a sulphurous and fool-smelling liquid, black M 
Cocytus or Acheron, bubbles and boils and spouts its filthy 
mud eternally. I have no taste for horrors, and did not visit 
this foul place, which they call Tikiteri. A Scotchman, they 
say, went to look at it, gazed breathless for a moment or two, 
and when he found his voice exclaimed, ' By God, I will never 
swear again.' Indeed, the condition of things all about sug- 
gests the alarming nearness of the burning regions. The 
native settlement was at one time very large, and must have 
been one of the most important in New Zealand. It owed 
its origin doubtless to these springs, not from any superstitious 
reason, but for the practical uses to which the Maori apply 
them. They cook their cray-fish and white-fish, which they 
catch in the lake, in them ; they boil their cabbage, they wash 
their clothes in them, and they wash themselves. They own 
the district as a village community. The Government rents 
it of them. They live on their income, like ladies and gentle- 
men, and having no work to do, or not caring to do any, they 
prefer to enjoy themselves. They dig out baths, bring streams 
from cold springs to temper the hot, and pass half their time 
lounging in the tepid water. I heard a grunt as I passed one 
of these pools. I supposed it was a pig. Looking round, 
I beheld a copper-coloured face and shoulders, a white head, 
and a pipe sticking out of the mouth. They find existence 
very tolerable on these terms. Old men, women, and children 
paddle about all day ; young men swim in the warm corners 
of the lake. Now and then some small boy or girl falls into a 
boiling hole, and the parents are relieved of further trouble 
with them. Eventually Ohinemutu and the neighbourhood 
are to become the Baden or Bath of New Zealand. A large 
park has been laid out rudimentally ; the sulphur-springs a 
mile off, which are credited with special medical virtues, have 
been inclosed and extensive buildings raised about them. One 
bath is. called Madame Rachel, as making those who dip in it 
beautiful for ever ; another is called the Priest's Bath, from 
onifc natural miracle wrought on a poor Catholic father, whom 
it cured at once of rheumatism and of sin. The Maori mean 
while, relieved of all care for their subsistence, loaf about in 



THE LAKE HOTEL 233 

Idleness, living on their cray-fish and their pigs, and their 
share of the rent a sad, shameful, and miserable spectacle : 
the noblest of all the savage races with whom we have ever 
been brought in contact who, in spite of our rifles and cannon, 
fought long and stubborn wars with us, and more than once 
saw the backs of English troops retiring from an open battle- 
field overcome by a worse enemy than sword and bullet, 
and corrupted into sloth and ruin. I saw many half-caste 
children running about. I asked if the men felt no anger 
about it. I was told rather that it was considered as an 
honour. The women were chaste after marriage : before 
marriage they did not know what chastity meant. Degra- 
dation could hardly be carried further. 

Tourists were lounging about by dozens at the hotel doors 
as we drove up ; some come for amusement and curiosity, 
aome to reside for the water-cure. Parties were arriving 
hourly from Cambridge by the route which we had taken, from 
Tauranga on the sea, or overland from Wellington. The 
carriages which brought the new arrivals returned with a back 
load of those who had exhausted the wonders. Our hotel was 
the ' Lake ' ; we were received in the hall by an active, good- 
looking, over- dressed landlady, with the manners rather of a 
hostess receiving guests than of the mistress of a boarding-house. 
She provided us with a pretty sitting-room with bedrooms 
attached, opening on a balcony and overlooking the wide sur- 
face of Rotorua. Some bishop had been expected, for whom 
these apartments had been reserved ; but the bishop had not 
arrived, and his quarters were made over to us. As we had 
come in dusty from our drive, we were despatched at once to 
the baths at the foot of the garden long deep troughs of 
mineral water at a temperature of 98, in which we were 
directed to lie down for ten minutes. The sensation was 
delicious, and I could easily believe in the virtues of these 
mysterious fountains. We rose out of them clean and fresh at 
least, if not beautiful, and as there was still an hour on our 
hands before the table d'hdte dinner, our good landlady sent ua 
round the native village, where we saw the Maori squatting 
about on the warm stones. Tt was now sunset ; they had 



*34 OCEANA 

been there since sunrise, rising only to wallow in the sulphur 
pools and then to squat again helpless, useless, absurd. In 
the centre of the village stood a Maori temple, one of the most 
famous in the island, the doors outside and the panels of the 
walls within ornamented with hideous carved monsters, the 
tongues hanging out of the huge gaping mouths, and slips of 
mother-of-pearl glittering in the eye-sockets. Doubtless those 
opalescent eyes had looked on singular scenes in the still recent 
days of fighting and cannibalism. The old 'joss house' now 
answered the complex purpose of school -room, land court, and 
religious meeting-house. ' Service ' was held there on Sundays 
for those who retained a remnant of the creed which they had 
learnt from the missionaries. At the upper end was a com- 
munion table, and behind it a veiled statuette of the Queen, 
which was uncovered on serious occasions. The poor Maori 
had meant well and could perhaps have done no better for 
themselves : but as Ohinemutu has grown in importance, the 
religious part of the business has seemed a scandal. Fashion- 
able visitors required a decent place of worship, and a small 
church has been built, which was then waiting for a bishop to 
consecrate it. 

^ Meals at the hotel were at fixed hours, the company all 
dining together. There were at least forty of us, our hostess 
sitting at the head of the table. As the weather was sultry 
and we knew no one, we withdrew speedily to our own 
balcony and cigars, looking out on the moonlit expanse of 
waters. Mosquitoes swarmed, but they were happily not of 
the biting sort. The beds were clean, and no flying or crawl- 
ing insect disturbed our slumbers. When we opened our 
windows in the morning, the landscape was half-hidden by the 
steam from the springs, which, for some reason, are generally 
hottest at night. The Maori, male and female, were lazily 
coming out of their huts, black-haired, large-headed, and large- 
boned, in their red and yellow blankets. Pipes were in the 
mouths of the men, who stood about and loafed. The women 
drew round the boiling holes with their pots and kettles. 
Children straggled along the sands, or paddled in the shallow 
vater of the lake. The island which I have already mentioned 





t 




MOKOIA AND ITS HISTORY 23* 

*tood four miles outside our window. It is called Mokoia, is 
celebrated in legend, and has besides a remarkable history. 
The legend is a Hero and Leander story, where the lady, 
however, and not Xeander, was the swimmer. Hinemoia, a 
chiefs daughter on the mainland, was adored by a youth whose 
home was on the island. She returned his passion ; and when 
her father, not finding the connection grand enough, forbade 
her to think of him, she went to the nearest promontory, swam 
the three miles which divided her from her lover, and hid 
herself in his own warm sulphur pond, where he found her 
smiling and waiting for him when he came down in the morn- 
ing. The pool is called, after the lady, Hinemoia's bath, and 
the adventure is the subject of many a Maori ballad and love- 
song. \The history connected with" Mokoia is more tragic. In 
the early days of the missionaries, some sixty years ago, there 
was a famous warrior in these parts named Hangi. He was a 
man of some intellect, and wishing to know something more 
about the white men who were coming into New Zealand, he 
went under the missionaries' auspices to England, was intro- 
duced, I believe, to Exeter Hall at any rate was made much 
of, and was presented with a good sum of money to be used in 
civilising and Christianising his countrymen. This money he 
laid out secretly in guns and powder, stored them on board 
ship, and brought them home with him. He had an old feud 
with the Mokoia Islanders. He demanded their submission, 
with these new arms to back him. The Mokoians, secure as 
they supposed in their water-guarded home, laughed at him 
and defied him. He dragged his canoes thirty miles over 
land, launched them on the lake, stormed the island, and 
killed everybody that he found alive in it men, women, and 
children. Such is the tale, ' and the bricks (i.e. the dead 
men's bones) are alive to this day to testify of it, therefore it 
is not to be denied.' We determined to pay Mokoia a visit at 
our earliest leisure. 

Breakfast was like dinner, save that the flies which then 
were sleeping were now awake, and we could realise the suffer- 
ings of Pharaoh. At Cambridge they had come in battalions ; 
at Rotorua they were in armies, seizing, like unclean harpies, 



36 OCEANA 

on the very food which we were eating, blackening the table 
cloth as if a shower of soot had fallen upon it. The resident* 
seemed used to the infliction, and bore it undisturbed. The 
novelty and strangeness of the scene had put us in good spirit!, 
o we bore it too, though with imperfect equanimity. After 
breakfast the lady hostess volunteered to guide us over the 
Government springs and baths at Sulphur Point, as the new 
station is called. We were a little startled when she appeared 
in a red silk dress, with an ostrich plume in her hat ; but 
she knew the country well, and was gracious and communi 
cative. 

A short walk through Ti-tree bush brought us to the Point. 
The bathing establishment was like other bathing establish- 
ments rows of unbeautiful wooden buildings, lodging-houses, 
reading-rooms, bath-rooms. The water of the springs had been 
taken possession of and distributed by pipes, part into deep 
open swimming pools inclosed by palisades, part taken under 
roof into large square cisterns with dressing-closets round the 
edges, and steps from them into the water. ' Madame Rachel ' 
was one of these clear as crystal, but alkaline to nastinesa, 
and so charged with silica that if you stayed in long enough 
you would be enamelled. A small twig of Ti-tree which had 
been left in for a week or two was like a branch of white 
coral. The priest's disorders must have been desperate if ihey 
were worse than the remedy. The bath which they told ua 
that he had used tasted like a strong solution of sulphuric 
acid, and smelt most potently of sulphuretted hydrogen. 
There is no reasonable doubt, however, that the healing virtue, 
whatever it be, that lies in hot mineral springs exists in a 
supreme degree in these waters at Ohinemutu. Here will be 
the chief sanitary station of the future for the South Sea 
English. The fame of it will spread, and as transit grows 
more easy, invalids will find their way there from all parts of 
the world. This desert promontory, with its sad green lake 
and Maori huts and distant smoke-columns, will hereafter be 
an enormous cockney watering-place ; and here it will be that 
in some sanitarian salon Macaulay's New Zealander, returning 
from his travels, will exhibit his sketch of the ruius of 8t 



SULPHUR POINT 37 

Paul's to groups of admiring young ladies. I have come to 
believe in that New Zealander since I have seen the country. 

The extremity of the Point was a few hundred yards off, 
and will be more, for the land is unfinished, and is still grow- 
ing. There are some twenty springs in the intervening dis- 
tance, most of them delivering siliceous acid, which forms aa 
it is deposited into white rock, and spreads like a coral bank. 
Others, perhaps within a foot of them, discharge pure sulphur, 
which lies in masses, and will burn if you put a match to it. 
In the bush is a large open pool, which gives off nitrous oxide 
or laughing gas. Our guide told us that some young English 
aristocrat had almost lost his life there ; he had gone in to try 
what it was like, he had fallen down in delightful delirium, 
and was dragged out unconscious. 

It rained as we returned to the hotel. The first sight on 
re-entering the village was a Maori swimming about, pipe in 
mouth, with an umbrella over him to keep off the wet. Many 
other cariosities remained to be noticed. At every turn there 
was something peculiar. Standing in the lake at an angle of 
the village were the carved posts and buttresses of what had 
once been the grandest pah in all the island. There had been 
an earthquake. The water of the lake had risen or the land 
had sunk. The pah had been overwhelmed, and these remains 
were all that was left of it. We were shown one hole where 
a Maori, straying at night, with the firewater in him, had 
gone down down direct into the hot quarters below. Another 
where, a few years since, the chief of Ohinemutu boiled and 
ate an ambassador from a neighbouring chief. The ambassa- 
dor's master disapproving of this proceeding came in force a 
few days after, boiled the other in the same pool, and dined on 
him in return. They do not eat one another any more. They 
eat pigs instead, which thrive wonderfully, and are as plentiful 
as they used to be in Connemara. I was exercised in thinking 
what these island Maori could have lived upon before Captain 
Cook introduced the pigs. On the coast they had lived on 
fish, but in these lakes there were no fish to speak of only 
oray-fish, mussels, a few eels, and a small whitebait the size of 
a minnow. They had no animals, no cows, no sheep, no milk 



3 OCEANA 

or cheese, no grain of any kind. They had ducks, which they 
may have shot or caught ; but not in any number. They had 
unlimited fern-root, berries of various kinds, and the purple 
potato. But these could never have fed the large limbs and 
high courage of the old Maori, and ' long pig ' could only have 
been an occasional delicacy. Some light was thrown on the 
matter afterwards. I found that the piece de resistance was 
the flesh of sharks, which swarm on the coasts in thousands, 
and are easily caught. They were dried, salted, and sent up 
the country. 

We were imperfectly successful in making acquaintances 
at the table d"h6te. The English race, colonists or home-bred, 
are alike shy of each other when they meet as strangers. 
Reserve is a growth of liberty. We do not speak to the 
neighbour with whom chance has brought us into passing 
contact, because he is as good as we are and may perhaps 
resent it, or because if we begin a conversation with him and 
happen not to like him afterwards, it may not be easy for us 
to shake him off. The further political liberty extends, the 
sharper becomes social exclusiveness. You may make my 
hairdresser's vote as good as mine, but you cannot make me 
ask him to dinner, or speak to any casual companion, who 
may be a hairdresser for anything that I can tell, and may 
claim me afterwards as a friend. There were two or three 
Australian tourists who did not seem afraid of my advance*. 
With them I had some conversation about their own country. 
They were English-born and English in character, and spoke 
very sensibly about many things. They confirmed especially 
one of them a suspicion which I had myself contracted, that 
young Australians, growing in the full sunshine of modern 
ideas, were less absolutely benefited by those ideas than true 
believers in them could desire. They have learnt from their 
political leaders to call no man superior upon earth, and there- 
fore to reverence no man, reverence being an unfit attitude for 
the rising generation. They have learnt from popular historic! 
that we live under a dispensation of progress, that each age is 
necessarily wiser and better than the age which preceded it, 
ind therefore that no man, or set of men, had yet existed who 



ROAD TO THE TERRACES 239 

could be compared morally or intellectually with themselves. 
' They that have troubled all the world ' have come, it appears, 
to Australia also. But there are plenty elsewhere too. If it 
is all right, and the rising generation i so unboundedly 
superior, it does well to believe thus highly of itself. The 
faith may be fruitful in good works. There is nothing to go 
upon like the facts of things. If the superiority be not fact but 
only self-conceit and imagination, then perhaps it is not so well. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Road to the Terraces The Blue Lake Wairoa An evening walk The rival 
guides Native entertainments Tarawara Lake A Maori girl The White 
Terrace Geysers Volcanic mud-heaps A hot lake A canoe ferry Kate 
and Marileha The Pink Terrace A bath A boiling pool Beauty of 
colour Return to Wairoa and Ohinemutn. 

OHINBMUTU was so novel a scene that I could have stayed 
there indefinitely, and have found something every day new 
and entertaining to look at. In fact, we meant to stay till we 
could hear from Sir George Grey about our introduction to the 
copper-coloured King ; but our immediate business was to visit 
the famous Terraces, the eighth wonder of the world. The 
natural man resents and rejects extravagant descriptions. H 
conceives it more likely that describers should exaggerate than 
that nature should produce anything entirely anomalous. 
What all the fools in the country professed to admire could 
not, I thought, be really admirable, and I had made up my 
mind to be disappointed. However, we were bound to go, the 
requisite arrangements were made by our hostess, and were 
rather complicated. The Terraces themselves were twenty-four 
miles off. We were to drive first through the mountains to a 
native village which had once been a famous missionary station, 
called Wairoa. There we were to sleep at an establishment 
affiliated to the Lake Hotel, and the next day a native boat 
would take us across Tarawara Lake, a piece of water as large 
as Rotorua, at the extremity of which the miracle of nature 
was to be found. We had brought a letter of introduction 



*4o OCEANA 

from Sir George Grey to the chief of Wairoa a very great 
chief, we learnt afterwards, who declines allegiance to the 
King. It was to his tribe that the Terraces belonged, and to 
them we were to be indebted for boat and crew and permission 
to see the place. The sum exacted varied with the number 
of the party. There were three of us, and we should have 
four pounds to pay. The tariff is fixed, to limit extortion ; 
the money goes to the villagers, who make a night of it and 
get drunk after each expedition. A native guide, a lady, 
would attend us and show off the wonders. There was a 
choice of two, whose portraits we had studied in the Auckland 
photograph shops. Both were middle-aged. Sophia was 
small and pretty, she had bright black eyes, with a soft 
expression, and spoke excellent English. Kate was famous 
for having once dived after and saved a tourist who had fallen 
into the water, and had received the Humane Society's medal. 
We delayed our selection till we had seen these famous rivals. 
The road after leaving Ohincmutu crosses a wide plain, un- 
interesting save for the smoke of distant geysers, one of which 
occasionally spouts up a column of water thirty feet into the 
air, but was now quiescent. Leaving the level ground at last, 
we ascended slowly a long steep hill on the top of which we 
entered a dense forest. It was the same in kind as that which 
we had passed through on our way up from Cambridge. There 
were the same great kauris, the same totaras, the same ferns, 
only if possible more luxuriant. But there was no felled 
timber disfiguring the roadsides, or traces of destroying fire ; 
there was merely a track through a dense wood, broad enough 
for carriages to cross each other. Natural openings gave us 
here and there a gleam of the sky, a sight of overhanging 
crags, or of some tall tree, standing alone with crimson- 
blossomed parasites clustering among the branches. On any 
bank which the sun could touch there were large ana sweet 
wild strawberries. We met a Maori on horseback ; he gave 
himself the airs of a lord of the soil, and intimated that the 
tribe meant to have a tollgate there and levy more tribute ft 
view of things which our driver objected to in emphatic 
language. We were perhaps three-quarters of an hour in the 



THE BLUE LAKE 941 

At night it is said to be more beautiful than in the 
day, the fireflies being so many and so brilliant that the glades 
seem as if lighted up for a festival of the fairies. It is 
altogether a preternatural kind of place ; on emerging from 
beneath the trees we found ourselves on the edge of a circular 
lake or basin of beautifully transparent sapphire-coloured 
water, a mile in diameter, with no stream running into it or 
out of it ; and closed completely round with woods, cliffs, and 
rocky slopes. No boat or canoe floats upon its mysterious 
surface. It is said to contain no living thing save a dragon, 
who has been seen on sunny days to crawl upon a bank to 
warm himself. I was reminded instantly of the mountain 
lake in the ' Arabian Nights ' where the fisherman drew his 
not at the bidding of the genius. Here, if anywhere in the 
world, was the identical spot where the five fish were taken 
out red, blue, yellow, purple, and green who terrified the 
king's cook by talking in the frying pan. The dragon might 
really be there, for anything that I could tell ; anything might 
be there, so weird, so enchanted was the whole scene. 

Following the beach for a quarter of a mile, and listening 
to the voices of the waves which rippled on the shingle, we 
turned round a shoulder of rock, and saw, a hundred feet 
below us, and divided from the blue lake only by a ridge over 
which a strong hand might throw a stone, a second lake of a 
dingy green colour not enchanted, this one, but merely un- 
canny-looking. I suppose below both there are mineral springs 
which account for the tint. Out of the green lake a river did 
run a strong, rapid stream, failing in cataracts down a broken 
ravine, and overhung by dense clumps of trees with large 
glossy leaves. The road followed the water into a valley, 
which opened out at the lower end. There stood Wairoa and 
its inhabitants. It was late afternoon. The people were all 
out loafing and lying about. As we drove up the children 
swarmed about the carriage, black-haired, black-eyed, half- 
naked, clamorous for ' pennies.' We might have been in a 
Christian country in Spain or Italy. We alighted, we left 
oar things at the lodging-house, and tried to escape the crowd, 
by walking off to see the sights alone. This was not per 



142 OCEANA 

mitted. If we came to Wairoa we must abide by the rules 
Below the village the river fell through a precipitous black 
gorge. We were to see this, and pay for seeing it, and engage 
the services of an urchin guide, for eighteenpence. Of course 
we submitted. The fall itself was worth a visit, being finer 
perhaps than the finest in Wales or Cumberland. We had to 
crawl down a steep slippery path through overhanging bushes, 
to look at it from the bottom. The water fell about two hun- 
dred feet, at two leaps, broken in the middle by a black mass 
of rock. Trees started out from the precipices and hung over 
the torrent. Gigantic and exquisitely graceful ferns stretched 
forward their waving fronds and dipped them in the spray. 
One fern especially I noticed, which I had never seen or heard 
of, which crawls like ivy over the stones, winds round them in 
careless wreaths, and fringes them with tassels of green. 

We did not grudge our eighteenpence, which, we under- 
stood, went into a general fund to be spent in the revels of the 
village. On returning to the upper regions we were allowed 
to dismiss our urchin and pursue our walk by ourselves. 
There were still two hours of daylight. We followed a path 
which ran along the shoulder of a mountain. On our left 
were high beetling crags, on our right a precipice eight hun- 
dred feet deep, with green open meadows below. The river, 
having escaped out of the gorge, was winding peacefully 
through them between wooded banks, a boat-house at the end, 
and beyond the wide waters of Tarawara, inclosed by a grand 
range of hills, which soared up blue and beautiful into the 
evening air. I had rarely looked on a softer or sweeter scene. 
Fools might admire Wairoa, yet I was obliged to own that it 
might be admirable notwithstanding. A five-oared boat was 
coming up the creek. It reached the landing-place, and a 
party of tourists disembarked who were returning from the 
Terraces. They looked like ants, so far down they were. 
We watched them straggling up the steep path which led to 
the village. One of them had forgotten something, and went 
back for it. They were pretty figures in the general picture. 

We strolled home. On the way I found what I took to 
be daisy, and wondered as I had wondered at the pimpernel 



THE RIVAL GUIDES 143 

at Melbourne. It was not a daisy, however, but one of those 
freaks of nature in which the form of one thing is imitated, 
one knows not why, by another. 

C The next day's arrangements had now to be completed. 
We dined first, and were then called on to choose our guide, a 
crowd outside the inn door waiting to learn which it was to 
be Kate or Sophia. Neither of them had as yet presented 
herself. But Sophia had been with the party whom we had 
seen in the boat. It seemed to be Kate's turn. Kate would 
save our lives if they needed saving, and besides we learnt 
that she was stone-deaf. She would show us all that was to 
be seen, and we should escape conversation, so we deter- 
mined on Kate. A loud howl rose from the mob, it seemed 
as of satisfaction. ' Kate ! Kate ! ' a hundred voices cried, 
and presently there appeared a big, half-caste, bony woman 
of forty, with a form like an Amazon's, features like a prize- 
fighter's, and an arm that would fell an ox. She had a blue 
petticoat on, a brown jacket, and a red handkerchief about 
her hair. Deaf she might be, but her war-whoop might be 
heard for a mile. I inquired whether this virago (for such she 
appeared) had a husband. I was told that she had had eight 
husbands, and on my asking what had become of them, I got 
for answer that they had died away somehow. Poor Kate ! 
I don't know that she had ever had so much as one. There 
were lying tongues at Wairoa as well as in other places. She 
wasji little elated, I believe, when we first saw her. She was 
quiet and womanly enough next day. Her strength she had 
done good service with, and she herself was probably better, 
and not worse, than many of her neighbours. But I was a 
little alarmed, and regretted that I had been so precipitate, 
especially after I saw Sophia. Sir George's old chief called on 
us in the evening, and Sophia was invited in as interpreter. 
The chief was in plain European clothes, but had an air of 
dignity. \H.e had given orders, he said, that we should be well 
attendeci to. He was sorry that he could not himself go with 
as to the Terraces, but we should want nothing. Sophia was 
M pretty as her picture represented her slight, graceful, 
delicate, with a quiet, interesting manner. We were com 



144 OCEANA 

mitted, however, and could not change, and oar Kate, after 

all, did very well for us. 

It wag getting late when the chief went. We were about 
to go to bed, when a further message was brought in to us. 
The tribe were anxious to show us some of their native dance* 
by torchlight. We asked for particulars. We learnt that we 
might have a brief ordinary dance on moderate terms. If we 
wished for a performance complete complete with its in- 
decencies, which they said gentlemen usually preferred they 
would expect 32. 10*. Tourists, it seems, do encourage these 
things, and the miserable people are paid to disgrace them- 
selves, that they may have a drunken orgie afterwards, for 
that is the way in which the money is invariably spent. The 
tourists, I presume, wish to teach the poor savage ' the bless- 
ings of civilisation.' We declined any performance, mutilated 
or entire. 

In the morning we had to start early, for we had a long 
day's work cut out for us. We were on foot at seven. The 
weather was fine, with a faint cool breeze, a few clouds, but 
no sign of rain. Five Maori boatmen were in attendance, to 
carry coats and luncheon basket. Kate presented herself with 
a subdued demeanour, as agreeable as it was unexpected. She 
looked picturesque, with a grey, tight-fitting, woollen bodice, 
a scarlet skirt, a light scarf about her neck, and a grey billi- 
oock hat with pink riband. She had a headache, she said, 
but was mild and gentle. I disbelieved entirely in the story 
of the eight husbands. 

We descended to the lake head by the path up which we 
had seen the party returning the previous evening. The boat 
was a long, light gig, unfit for storms, but Tarawara lay un- 
ruffled in the sunshine, tree and mountain peacefully mirrored 
on the surface. 

The colour was again green, as of a shallow sea. Heavy 
bushes fringed the shore. High, wooded mountains rose on 
all sides of us as we left the creek and came out upon the open 
water. The men rowed well, laughing and talking among 
themselves, and carried us in little more than an hour to a 
point eight miles distant Little life of any kind showed on 



A MAORI GIRL 245 

the way ; no boat was visible but our own ; there were a few 
cormorants, a few ducks, a coot or two, three or four sea- 
gulls, come from the ocean to catch sprats, and that was all. 
Kate said that the lake held enormous eels as big round as a 
man's leg, which were caught occasionally with night lines : 
but we saw nothing of them and did not entirely believe. At 
the point, or behind it, we came on a Maori farm on the water's 
edge. There were boats, and nets hung up to dry, a maize- 
field, an orchard, and a cabin. We stopped, and they offered 
us cray-fish, which we declined, but bought a basket of apples 
for the crew. "We were now in an arm of the lake which 
reached three miles further. At the head of this we landed 
by the mouth of a small rapid river, and looked about us. It 
was a pretty spot, overhung by precipitous cliffs, with ivy- 
fern climbing over them. A hot spring was bubbling violently 
through a hole in the rock. The ground was littered with the 
shells of unnumbered cray-fish which had been boiled in this 
caldron of Nature's providing. Here we were joined by a native 
girl, Marileha by name, a bright-looking lass of eighteen, with 
merry eyes, and a thick but well-combed mass of raven hair 
(shot with orange in the sunlight) which she tossed about over 
her shoulders. On her back, thrown jauntily on, she had a 

shawl of feathers which E wanted to buy, but /found the 

young lady coy. She was a friend of Kate's, it appeared, was 
qualifying for a guide, and was to be our companion, we were 
told, through the day.\ I heard the news with some anxiety, 
for there was said to be a delicious basin of lukewarm water 
on one of the terraces, in which custom required us to bathe. 
Our two lady-guides would provide towels, and officiate, in 
fact, as bathing women. The fair Polycasta had bathed Tele- 
machus, and the queenly Helen with her own royal hands had 
bathed Ulysses when he came disguised to Troy. So Kate 
was to bathe us, and Miss Marileha was to assist in the 
process. 

We took off our boots and stockings, put on canvas shoes 
which a wetting would not spoil, and followed our two guides 
through the bush, waiting for what fate had in store for us ; 
Miss Man laughing, shouting, and singing, to amuse Kate, 



246 OCR AN A 

whose head still ached. After a winding walk of half a mile, 
we came again on the river, which was rushing deep and swift 
through reeds and Ti-tree. A rickety canoe was waiting there, 
in which we crossed, climbed up a bank, and stretched before 
us we saw the White Terrace in all its strangeness ; a crystal 
staircase, glittering and stainless as if it were ice, spreading 
out like an open fan from a point above us on the hillside, and 
projecting at the bottom into a lake, where it was perhaps two 
hundred yards wide. The summit was concealed behind the 
volumes of steam rising out of the boiling fountain, from 
which the siliceous stream proceeded. The stairs were about 
twenty in number, the height of each being six or seven feet. 
The floors dividing them were horizontal, as if laid out with a 
spirit-level. They were of uneven breadth ; twenty, thirty, 
fifty feet, or even more ; each step down being always perpen- 
dicular, and all forming arcs of a circle of which the crater 
was the centre. On reaching the lake the silica flowed away 
into the water, where it lay in a sheet half-submerged, like ice 
at the beginning of a thaw. There was nothing in the fall of 
the ground to account for the regularity of shape. A crater 
has been opened through the rock a hundred and twenty feet 
above the lake. The water, which comes up boiling from 
below, is charged as heavily as it will bear with silicic acid. 
The silica crystallises as it is exposed to the air. The water 
continues to flow over the hardened surface, continually adding 
a fresh coating to the deposits already laid down; and, for 
reasons which men of science can no doubt supply, the crystals 
take the form which I have described. The process is a rapid 
one ; a piece of newspaper left behind by a recent visitor was 
already stiff as the starched collar of a shirt. Tourists am- 
bitious of immortality had pencilled their names and the date 
of their visit on the white surface over which the stream was 
running. Some of these inscriptions were six and seven years 
old, yet the strokes were as fresh as on the day they were 
made, being protected by the film of glass which was instantly 
drawn over them. 

The thickness of the crust is, I believe, unascertained, the 
Maories objecting to scientific examination of their treasure. 



THE WHITE TERRACE 147 

It titruck me, however, that this singular cascade must have 
been of recent, indeed measurably recent, origin. In the 
middle of the terrace were the remains of a Ti-tree bush, which 
was standing where a small patch of soil was still uncovered. 
Part of this, where the silica had not reached the roots, was 
in leaf and alive. The rest had been similarly alive within a 
year or two, for it had not yet rotted, but had died as the 
crust rose round it. Clearly nothing could grow through the 
crust, and the bush was a living evidence of the rate at which 
it was forming. It appeared to me that this particular staircase 
was not perhaps a hundred years old, but that terraces like it 
had successively been formed all along the hillside as the crater 
opened now at one spot and now at another. Wherever the 
rock showed elsewhere through the soil it was of the same 
material as that which I saw growing. If the supply of silicic 
acid was stopped the surface would dry and crack. Ti-trees 
would then spring up over it. The crystal steps would crumble 
into less regular outlines, and in a century or two the fairy- 
like wonder which we were gazing at would be indistinguishable 
from the adjoining slopes. We walked, or rather waded, 
upwards to the boiling pool ; it was not in this that we were 
to be bathed. It was about sixty feet across, and was of 
unknown depth. The heat was too intense to allow us to 
approach the edge, and we could see little, from the dense 
clouds of steam which lay upon it. We were more fortunate 
afterwards at the crater of the second terrace. 

The crystallisation is icelike, and the phenomenon, except 
for the alternate horizontal and vertical arrangement of the de- 
posited silica, is like what would be seen in any Northern 
region when a severe frost suddenly seizes hold of a waterfall 
before snow has fallen and buried it. 

A fixed number of minutes is allotted for each of the ' sights.' 

Kate was peremptory with E and myself. Miss Marileha 

had charge of my son. ' Come along, boy ! ' I heard her say 
to him. We were dragged off the White Terrace in spite of 
ourselves, but soon forgot it in the many and various wonders 
which were waiting for us. Columns of steam were rising all 
round as. We had already heard, near at hand, a noise like 



H8 OCEANA 

the blast-pipe of some enormous steam-engine. Climbing up 
a rocky path through the bush, we came on a black gaping 
chasm, the craggy sides of which we could just distinguish 
through the vapour. Water was boiling furiously at the 
bottom, and it was as if a legion of imprisoned devils were 
roaring to be let out. ' Devils' hole ' they called the place, 
and the name suited well with it. Behind a rock a few yards 
distant we found a large open pool, boiling also so violently 
that great volumes of water heaved and rolled and spouted, as 
if in a gigantic saucepan standing over a furnace. It was full 
of sulphur. Heat, noise, and smell were alike intolerable. 
To look at the thing, and then escape from it, was all that we 
could do, and we were glad to be led away out of sight and 
hearing. Again a climb, and we were on an open level 
plateau, two acres or so in extent, smoking rocks all round it, 
and, scattered over its surface, a number of pale brown mud- 
heaps, exactly like African anthills. Each of these was the 
cone of some sulphurous geyser. Some were quiet, some were 
active. Suspicious bubbles of steam spurted out under our 
feet as we trod, and we were warned to be careful where we 
went. Here we found a photographer, who had bought per- 
mission from the Maori, at work with his instruments, and 
Marileha was made to stand for her likeness on the top of one 
of the mud piles. We did not envy him his occupation, for the 
whole place smelt of brimstone and of the near neighbourhood 
of the Nether Pit. Our own attention was directed specially 
to a hole filled with mud of a peculiar kind, much relished by 
the natives, and eaten by them as porridge. To us, who had 
been curious about their food, this dirty mess was interesting. 
It did not, however, solve the problem. Mud could hardly be 
as nutritious as they professed to find it, though it may have 
had medicinal virtues to assist the digestion of cray-fish. 

The lake into which the Terrace descended lay close below 
as. It was green and hot (the temperature near 100), patched 
over with Iteds of rank reed and rush, which were forced into 
unnatural luxuriance. After leaving the mud-heaps we went 
down to the waterside, where we found our luncheon laid out 
in an open-air saloon, with a smooth floor of silica, and natural 



A HOT LAKE 349 

labs of silica ranged round the sides as benches. Steam- 
fountains were playing in half-a-dozen places. The floor was 
hot a mere skin between us and Cocytus. The slabs were 
hot, just to the point of being agreeable to sit upon. This 
spot was a favourite winter resort of the Maori their palaver- 
ing hall, where they had their constitutional debates, their 
store-room, their kitchen, and their dining-room. Here they 
had their innocent meals on dried fish and fruit, here also 
their less innocent on dried slices of their enemies. At 
present it seemed to be made over to visitors like ourselves. 
The ground was littered with broken bottles, emptied tins, 
and scraps of sandwich papers. We contributed our share to 
the general mess. Kate was out of spirits, with her head- 
ache ; we did what we could to cheer her, and partially 
succeeded. The scene was one to be remembered, and we 
wished to preserve some likeness of it. The Maori prohibit 
sketching, unless, as with the photographer, permission has 
been exorbitantly paid for. Choosing to be ignorant of the 

rule, E sat himself down and took out his drawing-book 

Two or three natives who had joined us howled and gesticu- 
lated, but as they could speak no English and Kate did not 

interfere, E affected ignorance of what they meant, and 

calmly finished his pencil outline. 

We were now to be ferried across the lake. The canoe 
had been brought up a scooped-out tree-trunk, as long as a 
racing eight-oar, and about as narrow. It was leaky, and 
BO low in the water that the lightest ripple washed over the 
gunwale. The bottom, however, was littered with fresh- 
gathered fern, which for the present was dry, and we were 
directed to lie down upon it. Marileha stood in the bow, 
wielding her paddle, with her elf locks rolling wildly down 
her back. The hot waves lapped in and splashed us. The 
lake was weird and evil-looking. Here Kate had earned 
her medal. Some gentleman, unused to boats, had lost 
his balance, or his courage, and had fallen overboard. 
Kate had dived after him as he sank, and fished him up 
Again. 

The Pink Terrace, the object of our voyage, opened out 



150 OCEAfiA 

before ns on the opposite shore. It was formed on the 
same lines aa the other, save that it was narrower, and was 
flushed with pale-rose colour. Oxide of iron is said to be 
the cause, but there is probably something besides. The 
water has not, I believe, been completely analysed. Miss 
Man used her paddle like a mistress. She carried us over 
with no worse misfortune than a light splashing, and landed 
as at the Terrace-foot. It was here, if anywhere, that the 
ablutions were to take place. To my great relief I found 
that a native youth was waiting with the towels, and that 
we were to be spared the ladies' assistance. They Kate and 
Mari withdrew to wallow, rhinoceros-like, in a mud pool of 
their own. The youth took charge of us and led us up the 
shining stairs. The crystals were even more beautiful than 
those which we had seen, falling like clusters of rosy icicles, 
or hanging in festoons like creepers trailing from a rail. 
At the foot of each cascade the water lay in pools of ultra 
marine, their exquisite colour being due in part, I suppose, 
to the light of the sky refracted upwards from the bottom. 
In the deepest of these we were to bathe. The tempera- 
ture was 94 or 95. The water lay inviting in its crystal 

basin. E declined the adventure. I and A. hung 

our clothes on a Ti-bush and followed our Maori, who 
had already plunged in, being unencumbered, except with a 
blanket, to show us the way. His black head and copper 
shoulders were so animal-like that I did not entirely admire 
his company ; but he was a man and a brother, and I knew 
that he must be clean, at any rate, poor fellow ! from perpe- 
tual washing. The water was deep enough to swim in com- 
fortably, though not over our heads. We lay on our backs 
and floated for ten minutes in exquisite enjoyment, and the 
alkali, or the flint, or the perfect purity of the element, seemed 
to saturate our systems. I, for one, when I was dressed again, 
could have fancied myself back in the old days when I did not 
know that I had a body, and could run up hill as lightly as 
down. The bath over, we punned our way. The marvel of 
the Terrace was still before us, reserved to the last like the 
finish in a pheasant battue. The crater at the White Terrace 



BEAUTY OF COLOUR 5> 

had been boiling ; the steam rushing out from it had filled the 
air with cloud ; and the scorching heat had kept us at a dis- 
tance. Here the temperature was twenty degrees lower ; 
there was still vapour hovering over the surface, but it was 
lighter and more transparent, and a soft breeze now and then 
blew it completely aside. We could stand on the brim and 
gaze as through an opening in the earth into an azure infinity 
beyond. Down and down, and fainter and softer as they re- 
ceded, the white crystals projected from the rocky walls over 
the abyss, till they seemed to dissolve not into darkness but 
into light. The hue of the water was something which I had 
never seen, and shall never again see on this side of eternity. 
Not the violet, not the hare-bell, nearest in its tint to heaven 
of all nature's flowers ; not turquoise, not sapphire, not the 
unfathomable aether itself could convey to one who had not 
looked on it a sense of that supernatural loveliness. Compari- 
son could only soil such inimitable purity. The only colour I 
ever saw in sky or on earth in the least resembling the aspect 
of this extraordinary pool was the flame of burning sulphur. 
Here was a bath, if mortal flesh could have borne to dive into 
it ! Had it been in Norway, we should have seen far down 
the floating Lorelei, inviting us to plunge and leave life and 
all belonging to it for such a home and such companionship. 
It was a bath for the gods and not for man. Artemis and her 
nymphs should have been swimming there, and we Actseons 
daring our fate to gaze on them. 

This was the end ol our adventure a unique experience. 
There was nothing more to see, and any more vulgar wonders 
would have now been too tame to interest us. Kate and Man 
had finished their ablutions and returned to the canoe. They 
called to us to come. We washed out our canvas shoes with 
the lake water, as, if left to dry as they were, they would have 
stiffened into flint. We lay again upon our fern leaves. 
Marileha resumed her paddle, and, singing Maori songs the 
vowel sounds drawn out in wild and plaintive melody she 
rowed us down the lake, and down the river to Tarawara. 
Flights of ducks rose noisily out of the reed-beds. Cormorants 
wheeled above our heads. Great water-hens, with crimson 

82 



a$ OCEANA 

crests and steadfast eyes, stared at us as we went by. The 
stream, when we struck into it, ran deep and swift and serpen- 
tine, low hidden between flags and bushes. It was scarcely 
is broad as our canoe was long, and if we had touched the 
bank anywhere we should have been overturned. Spurts of 
steam shot out at us from holes in the banks. By this time 
it seemed natural that they should be there as part of the 
constitution of things. Miss Marl's dog swam panting behind 
us, and whining to his mistress to take him up, which she 
wouldn't do. In a few minutes we were at the spot where we 
had landed in the morning. Our five Maories woke out of 
their blankets and took their oars again, and in two more 
hours we were ourselves crawling up the same path from the 
Lake boat-house to Wairoa, on which we had watched the 
returning party of the preceding day. There were fine festivi- 
ties in the village that evening, our four pounds being all con- 
verted into whisky. We did not stay to witness them, but 
drove back at once to Ohinemutu, the blue lake looking more 
mysterious than ever in the autumnal twilight, and the shadows 
in the forest deeper and grander. An hour later it would 
have been all ablaze with fire-flies, but we were hurrying home 
to be in time for dinner, and missed so appropriate a close for 
our generally witch-like expedition. 



CHAPTER 

Ohinemntn again Visitors A Maori Tillage An old woman and hr portrait 
Mokoia island The inhabitants Maori degeneracy Return to Auck- 
land Rumours of war with Russia Wan of the future Probable change 
in their character 

THK time of our stay at Ohinemutu depended on Sir George 
Grey. He had held out hopes of showing us the Maori 
monarch. He was to let us know whether he could come up, 
and when. We found no letter from him as we expected, and 

E , who wished to see the utmost possible in the four 

weeks allowed us, was a little impatient. However, we settled 



A MAORI VILLAGE 5J 

to remain a day or two longer. We had not half -seen the 
immediate neighbourhood. I for myself could be very happy, 
poking about among the springs and the native huts, and 
doing amateur geology and botany. The river of tourists was 
flowing full as ever. There had been thirty-five new arrivals 
at our single hotel during our brief absence. They were 
mainly Australians on an excursion trip, and I found that I 
had already met several of them at Melbourne or Sydney. 
The natives, when observed more at leisure, were not so abso- 
lutely inactive. There is a small fish in the lake like white- 
bait, which multiplies preternaturally in the tepid water, 
especially as there is nothing there to eat it. The men net these 
fish in millions, spread them out on mats in the sun to dry 
them, and infect seriously, for the time being, the sweetness of 
the atmosphere. I was anxious to see a little more of the 
people, and, if I could, at some spot where they were not, as in 
Ohinemutu, artificially maintained in idleness. 

There was a second village on the lake a few miles off, and 
one afternoon we walked along the shore to look at it. We 
found distinct improvement. There was less money going 
about, either from visitors or the Government, and consequently 
more signs of industry. The soil was almost black, so rich it 
was. A few acres of it were spade cultivated, much like an 
English allotment garden, and were covered with, patches of 
potatoes, maize, and tobacco. 

The cabins are of the purely primitive type four mud 
walls, two gables, a roof of poles leaning against each other at 
a high angle and filled in with reed and turf. Essentially they 
are exactly the same as the mud cabins in Ireland, but they 
are cleaner, neater, and better kept. Bound each is a stout 
Ti-tree fence, through which the pigs, at any rate, are not 
allowed free entrance. As in Ireland, however, it was the 
wrong sex that was doing the hardest work. The men lay 
about on the ground, or looking on while the women were 
digging. We saw more than one young mother, with a child 
lung in a pouched shawl at her back as if she were an inverted 
marsupial, hoeing maize and turning up potatoes, while the 
husband sat smoking his pipe as composedly as if he had beer 



J54 OCEANA 

bred in Conneinara. Natives in a declining moral condition 
show the same symptoms, whatever be the colour of the skin. 
We felt a little uncomfortable in trespassing on their private 
grounds. They are proud in their way, and do not approve of 
liberties being taken with them, and as we could command no 
word of Maori, and they understood no English, we could 
neither ask leave, nor even begin an acquaintance. They were 
perfectly quiet however, and let us walk by without seeming 
to notice us. We ought to have done the same, but, alas ! we 
didn't. On our way back we passed a cottage with creepers 
growing over the roof, a patch of garden, and a clump of 
bushes closing it in and sheltering it. Before the door an 
ancient Maori dame, black-haired, black-eyed, but with a skin 
wrinkled by the suns of many summers, was engaged in drying 
some fish. She was a hard-looking old savage, bare-headed, 
bare-armed, and bare-legged, with a short brown petticoat and 
a handkerchief crossed over her neck. The scene was charac- 
teristic ; E wished for a recollection of it and produced 

his sketch-book. Now the natives object strongly to being 
drawn either themselves or their houses. Partly they look 
on it as enchantment, partly as a taking away something of 
theirs for which their leave is required, and a bargain arranged 
beforehand. E had forgotten his experience at the Ter- 
races, or had supposed it to be only one of the many forms of 
extortion there. He sat himself down in the fern, about half a 
dozen yards from where the old woman was at work, lighted a 
cigar, and began to draw. She looked up uneasily, glanced 

first at E and then called to some of her own people, who 

were digging potatoes not very far off. Either they did not 
hear her or did not understand what was the matter. They 
took no notice and she turned again to her fish. But she was 
evidently restive. Presently she raised herself to her full 

height, turned direct to E and then to us, and gave a long 

howl. E sat on, puffing his cigar, glancing at her move- 
ments with increasing interest and transferring them to hit 
paper. She howled again, and as he showed no sign of moving 
he mide a step towards him, flashing her eyes and gesticula- 
ting violently. The more angry she grew, the more picturesque 



MOKOtA ISLAND 155 

became her figure and the more deliberately E studied her. 

She snatched up a stick and shook it at him. The arm and 
stick were instantly introduced into the drawing. It was too 
much ; she went for him like a fury, came so close that she 
could have struck him, and had her arm raised to do it. With 
the most entire imperturbability he did not move a muscle, 
but smoked on and drew as calmly as if he had been drawing 
a tree or a rock. Her features were convulsed with rage. 
His indifference paralysed her, perhaps frightened her. There 
is a mesmerism in absolute coolness which is too strong for 
excited nerves. She dropped her stick, turned sullenly round, 

and hid herself in her cabin. Poor old woman ! E 'a 

composure was admirable, but I felt real sorrow for her. 

I mentioned Mokoia, and our intention of paying a visit 
to so romantic and historical a spot. The island lay four 
miles off in front of our window ; and there was a sailing- 
boat ready to take us over. We should see the bath in which 
Hinemoia warmed herself after her long swim ; in a tree there 
the bones were said to be still mouldering where they had been 
thrown by Hangi after his dinner. Our hostess, who knew 
the place, urged us not to leave Rotorua without seeing it, 
and even volunteered her services as guide again. It was 
very good of her, and she would have gone had she not been 
called away to arbitrate in a land dispute. We had to be con- 
tent with our own company, but the dangers and difficulties 
were not great. Mokoia is a sleeping volcano which has been 
thrown up in the middle of the water, or may have been raised 
before there was a lake at all. The ridges on the top are 
densely wooded and entirely unoccupied, but on the north side 
is a long, low, level plain, a thousand acres or so in extent, 
extremely fertile and well filled with people who have oc- 
cupied it again since Hangi's raid. Once Mokoia was a 
favourite missionary station, and the good people have left 
pleasant traces of their presence there. We found in the 
gardens peaches, figs, apples, pears, potatoes, maize, parsnips, 
peas and beans ; and tobacco, green and growing. The mis- 
sionaries were not always wise, but they meant well always, 
did well often, and deserve to be more kindly remembered than 
they are. 



156 OCEANA 

We landed close to the bath, saw the bushes under which 
Hinemoia had hid herself, and her lover's cabin where they 
lived happy ever after. The island was very pretty, rock, 
wood, water, and cultivation pleasantly combined. The mis- 
sionaries are departed. There was no sign of chapel, church, 
or heathen temple. The people seemed to be altogether pagans 
but pagans of an innocent kind. In other respects, if I had 
been carried into Mokoia and awakened suddenly, I should have 
imagined myself in Mayo or Gal way as they were forty years 
ago. There were the same cabins, the same children running 
about barefoot and half-naked, the same pigs, the same savage 
tnste for brilliant colours, the women wearing madder- coloured 
petticoats ; the same distribution of employment between the 
sexes, the wife working in the fields, the man lying on his back 
and enjoying himself. The Mokoians were perhaps less ragged 
than the Irish used to be, otherwise Nature had created an 
identical organisation on the opposite side of the planet. 
Even the children had learnt to beg in the same note, the little 
wretches with hands thrust out and mouths open clamouring 
for halfpennies. 

There were flights of gulls on the lake drawn thither, I 
suppose, by the white fish. Otherwise I had seen few birds in 
the district, as indeed anywhere in New Zealand. Mokoia, 
however, was full of them. The English sparrow was there 
where is he not 1 taking possession of everything, as if Nature 
had been thinking only of him when she made the world. 
There were native birds also, hiding in the foliage of the thick 
trees, with a deep cooing note, something like the Australian 
magpie's. These were chary of showing themselves. One 
that I caught sight of was like a blackcap, and of the size of a 
thrush. 

It was hard to realise that this sunny, dreamy island had 
been the scene of such unspeakable horrors in the days of 
Bible Societies and Exeter Hall philanthropy. Men, still 
living, may remember Hangi, 1 who in his time was a London 
lion, much rejoiced over on platforms, and who showed the 

1 I tail Hangi'i story merely from the traditions on the spot, which may 
require correction before they cm be accepted u accurate. 



THE MAORI, PAST AND PRESENT 257 

Fruits of his conversion in that spot in so singular a manner. 
We found a tree with a few bones in a cleft of it. The trunk 
bore the names of many visitors cut into its bark, and I pre- 
sume, therefore, was the original one. The bones were probably 
what tradition said they were, and the owner of them had 
played a part in that tragedy, as killer, or killed, or both. 

Mokoia would be a pretty possession for anyone who, like 
Sancho Panza, wished for an island all his own to occupy. 
Sir George Grey had thought of buying it, before he settled at 
Kawau. "We made a sketch or two without being interfered 
with ; we ate our luncheon, and sailed home again. 

We had been now a week at Ohinemutu. Sir George 
Grey had been detained at Auckland by other arrivals there, 
and had been unable to join us. Without him, it was useless 
to think of going into the country of the King, and this part 
of our scheme had to be abandoned. I was sorry ; for a sight 
of the natives who had kept their old customs, and had lived 
removed from European influence, might have modified the 
dreary impression which had been left upon me by those whom 
I had seen. The Maori warrior, before the English landed in 
New Zealand, was brave, honourable, and chivalrous ; like 
Achilles, he hated liars ' as the gates of Hell ; ' firewater had 
not taught him the delights of getting drunk ; and the frag- 
ments which survive of his poetry touch all the notes of 
imaginative humanity the lover's passion, the grief for the 
dead, the fierce delight of battle, the calm enjoyment of a sun- 
lit landscape, or the sense of a spiritual presence in storm or 
earthquake, or the star-spangled midnight sky. The germ of 
every feeling is to be found there which has been developed in 
Europe into the finest literature and art ; and the Maori man 
and Maori woman, as we had seen them, did not seem to have 
derived much benefit from the introduction of c the blessings 
of civilisation.' Their interest now is in animal sloth and 
animal indulgence, and they have no other ; the man as if he 
had nothing else left to work for or to care for ; the woman 
counting it an honour to bear a half-caste child. It is with 
the wild races of human beings as with wild animals, and birds, 
and trees, and plants. Those only will survive who can 



J5 OCEANA 

domesticate themselves into servants of the modern forms of 
social development. The lion and the leopard, the eagle and 
the hawk, every creature of earth or air, which is wildly free, 
dies off or disappears ; the sheep, the ox, the horse, the ass 
accepts his bondage and thrives and multiplies. So it is with 
man. The negro submits to the conditions, becomes useful, and 
rises to a higher level. The Red Indian and the Maori pine 
away as in a cage, sink first into apathy and moral degradation, 
and then vanish. 

I am told that the Catholic missionaries produce a more 
permanent effect on the Maori than the Protestants do. If 
one and the other could learn from the Mahometans to forbid 
drink and practically prevent it, they might both of them be 
precious instruments in saving a remnant of this curiously 
interesting people. 

We returned to Auckland as we had come, sleeping a night 
on the way at Oxford, where I found the landlord still busy 
over his Artesian well. At the Club everybody was talking of 
the coming war with Russia. The reluctance with which Mr. 
Gladstone would embark in such an enterprise was well under- 
stood ; but the Egyptian business was supposed to have shaken 
his popularity, and it was expected that he would now go with 
the stream, to keep himself and his party in office. I for my 
own part was incredulous. I could not believe that he would so 
soon forget what he had said and done seven years ago. Mad 
M people are when the war fever is upon them, I could not 
believe that England herself, in a mere panic, which in a few 
months she would be ashamed of, could insist on starting a 
conflict over a mere frontier dispute in Afghanistan, which 
would probably spread to Europe and set the world on fire. 
Yet we were living in impulsive days, and parliaments, led by 
irresponsible orators, might rush at problems which single 
statesmen would pause over. It was impossible to say that 
there could not be war, and a person like myself, who had 
never shared in the general alarm about the aggressive 
Muscovite, could only regret the desperate consequences which 
teemed too likely to follow. 

I had always thought, and 1 still think, it improbable in 



WAR RUMOURS a 59 

the highest degree that Russia should have designs upon 
British India. She has work enough upon her hands else- 
where, and the object to be gained is incommensurate with 
the risk. We have ourselves three times invaded Afghani- 
stan, burnt the bazaar at Cabul, and killed a great many 
thousand people to teach them to love us. Even now it ia 
doubtful if we could count upon their friendship, and, on the 
mere ground of fairness, we were not in a position to declare 
war against another power for doing as we had done ourselves 
and drawing her frontier in that quarter as her military 
necessities required. It was again uncertain to me whether, 
if we had determined to fight, we were choosing a favourable 
battlefield, so far away from our own resources. At the 
commencement of our wars we were generally unsuccessful. 
If the Afghans did not love us, as perhaps they didn't, and 
were prepared to throw in their lot with the strongest side, 
a reverse might decide them to be our enemies, and in the 
event of a serious misfortune, such as befell us at the Khyber 
Pass, the Native States might be disturbed in India itself. 
Nor did I think that the irritation in England was based on 
a well-considered knowledge of the real state of Russia. 
We spoke of her at one time as a modern Macedonia, 
dangerous, from her unceasing encroachments, to the liberties 
of Europe ; at another, as bankrupt in finance, as honeycombed 
with disaffection, as so weak that Cobden, in a memorable 
speech, talked of crumpling her up in his left hand. She 
could not be all these things at once. If she was weak, 
Europe need not be afraid of her. If she was strong, the 
struggle might be serious and not to be lightly entered on. The 
contempt and fear combined, which seemed to be the feelings 
entertained by us, were rather indications of dislike to 
Russia and anger at it, than signs of any sound insight 
into her actual condition. Whatever might be the result of 
a war with her, it would be likely to verify the saying that 
1 nothing was certain but the unforeseen.' The risk would be 
out of all proportion to the advantage to be gained if we were 
victorious. 

These views I ventured now and then to express, but I 



z6o OCEANA 

had to be cautious, for the patriotism of the colonists WM 
inflammable as gunpowder. To be against war was to b 
lukewarm to our country, and half-a-dozen regiments could 
have been raised with ease in New Zealand alone, to march 
to Herat. I did venture, however, to express a hope that, il 
there was to be war, Mr. Gladstone would leave the work to 
others, and would not crown the inconsistencies of his late 
career by adopting a policy which he had condemned in his 
rival with all the powers of his eloquence. Nay, I suggested 
also that, in these democratic days, a better expedient than 
national wars would by-and-by perhaps be accepted as easy 
of application as it would be infinitely beneficial to the entire 
communities concerned. Ministers of different nations fall 
out from time to time about various questions. Things in 
themselves of no significance at all are made of importance 
by the fact of being insisted on. Despatches are exchanged, 
each unanswerable from its own point of view, and the object 
on each side is not to settle the quarrel but to put the other 
in the wrong. At last, when diplomacy has succeeded in 
tying the knot so tight that it cannot be disentangled, the 
persons who have conducted the negotiations come to their 
respective countrymen, and say : ' We have done our best, but 
you see how it is : the perfidious A. or perfidious B. is deter- 
mined in his wicked courses. There is but one way out of it. 
You must fight.' Fighting, as it is now carried on between 
great nations, means the killing of hundreds of thousands of 
people, and the wasting of hundreds of millions of money ; and 
it seems to me that in nine cases out of ten this expenditure 
Li not the least necessary. In nine cases out of ten it can make 
no sensible difference to the great body of the nation which way 
the matter is decided. No one will pretend, for instance, that 
any English labourer's family would be differently fed, differ- 
ently clothed, or differently lodged if the eastern Russian 
frontier were drawn a few miles this way or that way. There- 
fore I think the people will by-and-by reply on such occasion* 
to their rulers : ' It may be as you say, gentlemen. A. or B. 
may be very wicked, and this question, which you tell us is of 
ronsequenee, cannot be settled without fighting You under 



WAR UNDER DEMOCRACIES 6i 

stand these matters j we do not understand. But we cannot 
all fight. We must fight by representatives by men whom 
we hire for the purpose, more or fewer, and fewer better than 
more. You have made this quarrel ; do you fight it out. 
Take your revolvers, go into the back square in your Foreign 
Office. A. or B.'s people will take the same view of it that 
we do let their ministers come with their revolvers in equal 
numbers. See which are the best men and we will abide by 
the result. If you win you shall have as many honours as you 
like. We shall not be wanting in generosity if you let us 
save our skins and purses. The economy will be infinite, the 
diminution of human suffering incalculable, and things will be 
settled probably just as well as if we all tore ourselves to 
pieces.' 

I do not see why it should not come to this, and if the 
great Demos who has now the power in his hands understands 
how to use it, I think it will. The only disadvantage, if it be 
one, is that the occasion for such a tournament would never 
arise, and disputes found now incapable of peaceful settlement 
would be settled very easily indeed. 

Auckland wearied me with its valiant talk. We had an 
officer there an excellent fellow in his way who had fought 
in our own Afghanistan wars, who knew the ground, and had 
maps, and passed as an authority. He proved to us, by argu- 
ments completely satisfactory to himself, that unless we seized 
Russia by the throat and hurled her back upon the Caspian we 
were a ruined nation. Everybody seemed to agree with him, 
and I was in a minority of one. I was relieved, therefore, 
when a message came from Sir George Grey that he was at 
his island and was expecting us to go to him without delay. 



*6a OCEANA 



CHAPTER 

8ir Gorge Qrey's Island Climate House Curiosities Sir George's view* 
on Cape polities His hobbies Opinions on federation Island retainers 
Their notion of liberty Devotion to their employer Birds and animals 
Expedition into the interior A Maori dining-hall Shark-fishing Caught 
in a storm Run for the mainland A New Zealand farm and its occupants 
End of visit to Sir George Auckland Society Professor Aldls General 
impression on the state of New Zealand Growth of state debt anu -.unicipal 
debt Seeming approach of war Party government 

KAWAU, or Shag Island, lies at the mouth of the Hauraki 
Gulf, four miles from the mainland and about thirty in a direct 
line from Auckland. It is one of a considerable group which 
lie scattered along the east coast. Outside it is the Great 
Barrier Island a mountain with a serrated back, rising three 
thousand feet out of the sea, and serving as a breakwater 
against the ocean swell. 

Long, wooded headlands project from the shores of the 
gulf which holds Kawau in its arms. The climate is soft as 
in Southern Italy ; oranges grow freely in the gardens, and 
rare flowering shrubs from South America or Japan. The sea 
is the purest blue, and the air moist and balmy, tempered with 
the moderate rain, which is enough always and rarely excessive. 
The bays swarm with fish, and to take the evil with the good 
swarm also with the sharks that prey on them ; but even the 
sharks here are fit for Maori's food, or for manure for the 
vegetables and fruit-trees. Weekly steamers from Auckland 
ply among the inlets, making the circuit of various stations 
before they reach Kawau, and end the day at anchor under Sir 
George's windows, when they have landed his visitors and his 
post-bag. The voyage to such a spot was in itself delightful, 
with such a prospect at the close of it. 

We started on a still, warm morning after breakfast. Our 
first halt was at Waiwera, fifteen miles off an ambitious little 
watering-place with a hot spring of its own, and a large, hand- 
tome boarding-house, where the Auckland people go to refresh 
them gel ve* in sultry weather. We landed passengers on 



S/X GEORGE GREY'S ISLAND 263 

shallow beach, horses and carts coming down for them into the 
water to the boats. A day or two could have been spent 
pleasantly there if we could have afforded them, but time was 
inexorable. We touched again and again for one purpose or 
another. Late in the afternoon we brought up at a pier at a 
river's mouth where there was a considerable business. We 
had stores on board from the Auckland merchants for the farm- 
houses higher up the stream, which the young farmers and 
their wives were waiting in their boats to receive and carry 
home a pretty and interesting scene, the first sight of New 
Zealand country life of a healthy sort which we had met with, 
the first sign of genuine growth ; watering-places, and mush- 
room cities, and members of the legislature being exotics of 
uncertain continuance. The steamer herself was not amiss. 
She was a poor little tug, but she struggled along at fair speed. 
The cabin was clean, and they gave us a dinner on board better 
than one sometimes meets with in the great Atlantic or Pacific 
floating palaces. It was five in the evening before we turned 
our head at last towards the harbour at Kawau and saw the 
white front of Sir George's house at the bottom of a deeply 
wooded inlet, the hills rising behind it, the soft still sea, and 
the tiny islands on its skirts like patches of forest left behind 
when the water had cut them off from the land, as beautiful 
as eye could rest on. Fishing-boats with red sails were float- 
ing dreamily homewards in the calm sails of the familiar cut 
of the English Channel, telling of the presence of English 
hands and English hearts. The water is deep enough at Sir 
George's pier to allow the steamer to run alongside. At the 
end of it we found our host himself, with Professor and Mrs. 
Aldis, who were staying with him. From Ohinemutu and its 
tourists, from the Auckland Club and its politicians, we had 
passed into an atmosphere of intellect, culture, science, and 
the mellow experience of statesmanship, a change not the less 
singular from the place in which we found ourselves. 

The house, not a hundred yards distant from the landing- 
place, was large and well proportioned, with a high-pitched 
roof, a projecting front toward the sea, and a long verandah. 

Two or three superior-looking men, Sir George's lieges, took 

x2 



a4 OCEANA 

possession of our luggage. He, after welcoming us to his 
dominions, led us over his residence and through the gardens 
in the sinking twilight, and perhaps found an innocent plea- 
sure in our astonishment. Everything we saw was his own 
creation, conceived by himself, and executed under his own 
eye by his own feudatories. Passing through the hall we 
entered a spacious and fine drawing-room, panelled and vaulted 
with Kauri pine. At one end stood Sir George's desk, with a 
large Bible on it, from which he read daily prayers to his 
household. Like Charles Gordon, he is old-fashioned in these 
matters, and though he knows all that is going on in the world 
criticism, philosophy, modern science, and the rest of it he 
believes in the way of his fathers. Some good oil pictures 
hung on the walls, excellent old engravings, with Maori axes, 
Caffre shields and assegais, all prettily arranged. Book-cases 
and cabinets with locked doors contained the more precious 
curiosities. On the table lay Quarterlies, Edinburghs, maga- 
zines, weeklies the floating literature of London, only a month 
or two behindhand- Every important movement in domestic, 
foreign, or colonial politics could be studied as exhaustively at 
Kawau as in the reading-room at the Athenaeum. Morning- 
room, dining-room, and rooms upstairs completed the usual 
accommodations of an ample country residence. The furniture 
was plain and solid, most of it home-made by Sir George's own 
workmen, Kauri pine chiefly providing the material. Garden 
and grounds were a study for a botanist, fruit trees, flowering 
trees, forest trees all growing together, with rare plants and 
shrubs collected miscellaneously or forwarded by correspon- 
dents. Each thing was planter! where it would grow best, 
without care for symmetry or order, and every step was a 
surprise. The slopes and ridges were clothed thickly with 
sheltering conifers of many kinds, which in twenty years had 
reached their full stature. Low down on the shores the 
graceful native Pokutukawa was left undisturbed, the finest of 
the Eata tribe at a distance like an ilex, only larger than 
any ilex that I ever saw, the branches twisted into the most 
fantastic shapes, stretching out till their weight bears them to 
the ground or to the water. Pokutukawa, in Maori language, 



CURIOSITIES 265 

means ' dipped in the sea spray.' In spring and summer it 
bears a brilliant crimson flower. The fruit which it bore when 
we were at Kawau was the oyster, clinging in bunches to the 
lowest boughs, which were alternately wetted and left dry by 
the tide. Oysters, in infinite numbers, cover every rock, as we 
had seen them do at Port Jackson. 

At the back of the house were substantial cottages for Sir 
George's ' hands ' a very superior kind of ' hands,' indeed, as 
I found when I knew them. 

In the evening he showed us some of his treasures. Lite- 
rary treasures were produced chiefly I suppose in compliment 
to me, for he had all sorts. There were old illuminated 
missals ; an old French MS. of the fourteenth century, which 
had belonged once to Philippe le Bel and afterwards to Sully ; 
old Saints' lives ; a black-letter Latin Life of the Swedish St. 
Bridget, of whom I had never heard, but who, if the stories 
told of her were true, must have been as strange a lady as her 
Irish namesake. Besides these was a precious MS. of the 
four Gospels which had come from Mount Ath os ; important 
English historical MSS., never printed, of t} time of the 
Commonwealth ; modern translations of the Bible, <fec. All 
these he had himself collected, and he ha/ 4 . Agents all about the 
world looking out for him. 

While I was examining these, E and my son were 

occupied over a cabinet of Maori weapons not ordinary knives 
or lances, but axes of jade, as rare as they were precious. 
They had been heirlooms in the families of great chiefs ; and 
had each killed no one could say how many warriors in battle. 
They were never parted with in life, and had been bequeathed 
by their various owners to Sir George, as the father of the 
Maori race. 

In the morning, when I looked out, the air and water were 
irresistible, and I ventured a short swim, in defiance of the 
sharks, which I found afterwards might very well have made 
a meal of me. The men had been hauling a seine, and on the 
sands lay a row of mullet, each five or six pounds' weight, aa 
silvery as salmon and almost as good. On these and home- 
made bread, and cream and butter from the dairy, we break- 



266 OCEANA 

fasted delightfully. The steamer came up to the pier, and, to 
my regret, took the Aldises away. They promised that we 
should see them again on our return to Auckland. We re- 
mained for the present Sir George's only guests. My two 
companions, wishing to see the ' sport ' of the island, went off 
with the keepers to shoot wallaby. Sir George has a paternal 
affection for all his creatures, and hates to have them killed. 
But the wallaby multiply so fast that the sheep cannot live 
for them, and several thousand have to be destroyed annually. 
I went walking with Sir George himself. He was especially 
anxious to hear about the Cape and about the prospects of 
Sir Charles Warren's expedition, which he liked as little as I 
liked it. I was gratified to find that his own large experience 
and thorough knowledge of South Africa confirmed the views 
which I had myself formed. He understood the Boers. He 
had gone to the Cape with the prejudice against them gene- 
rally entertained in England, and he had found the Boer of 
the English newspapers and platform speeches a creature of 
the imagination which had no existence in ' space and time.' 
The Boers were simply the Dutch gentlemen and farmers from 
whose fathers and grandfathers we had taken the colony. 
Many of them had been Sir George's subjects, and in his 
opinion, as in mine, they were a quiet, orderly, industrious, 
hard-working people, hurting no one if let alone, but resentful 
of injuries and especially of calumnies against their character. 
They were accused of cruelty to the native races. Had the 
charge been true, Sir George Grey, of all men, would have 
been the last to pardon it ; but it was no more true of them 
than it was true of us and, necessarily, of all colonists who 
come in collision with the original owners of the soil, and he 
thought our perpetual interference with them to be foolish and 
unjust. Our interference alone had created all the troubles in 
South Africa. But for us the Dutch and English inhabitants 
could live peaceably and happily together without a word of 
difference. We had granted the colony a constitution of its 
own. The Dutch were the majority, and a harmonious ad- 
ministration in South Africa was politically impossible unless 
we were prepared to treat the Dutch as honourable men, to 



SIR GEORGE'S VIEWS ON CAPE POLITICS 267 

meet them on their own ground, and leave them the same 
liberties which we do not think of refusing to the Australians 
or Canadians. They were a people who could never be driven, 
but, if treated frankly and generously, they would be found 
among the very best colonists in all the British dominions. 
Sir George spoke sadly and wistfully. Were he to return as 
governor to Cape Town, and allowed to act on his own judg- 
ment, he knew well that there would be no more trouble there. 
He knew also that it was impossible for him to go in that 
capacity ; but, though seventy-three years old and with failing 
health, he was still thinking of going there as a private indi- 
vidual, and of trying what he could do, out of pure love for 
his own country, and disgust at the follies in which some 
fatality compelled us to persist. 

This was the chief subject of our first morning's talk 
this and Carlyle, whom he had known in England, and whose 
position in relation to his contemporaries he was under no 
mistake about. Sir George is one of the very few men whom 
I have met who, being a Radical of the Radicals, and at all 
times and places on the side of the poor and helpless against 
the rich and powerful, yet delights to acknowledge and to 
bend before supreme intellectual greatness. 

During the week which we spent at Kawau, however, 
I had every day fresh reason to wonder at the wealth of his 
varied knowledge. There were few subjects on which he had 
not something fresh and interesting to say. Far off as he 
lived, he was well acquainted with all that was going on in 
art, or science, or literature, or politics. But his information 
by the time it reached him was reduced to the limits of 
ascertained facts. He was not confused with the perpetual 
clatter of other people's opinions. Thus what he said was his 
own and original. He had his hobbies as well as Mr. 
Shandy, and when he was mounted on one of them I could 
admire his riding without trying to keep pace with him. He 
was a remarkable linguist, among his other accomplishments. 
He could speak several of the Polynesian dialects, and he 
insisted, on philological grounds, that most of the islanders of 
(he South Pacific, and the Maori in particular, were Japanese. 



168 OCEANA 

I could not contradict his arguments , perhaps I was too 
ignorant to appreciate them. I was obstinately unconvinced, 
however, that between the small, delicate Japanese, with his 
flat Chinese features and tendencies to common civilisation, 
there could be any nearer affinity with the wild manliness of 
the large-boned New Zealander than what they might derive 
from Adam or the ancestral ape. But one can learn more 
from some people when they are wrong than from most others 
when they happen to be right. 

On the federation of the empire he talked with a fulness 
of knowledge which left nothing to be desired, and with the 
freedom of a time of life when this policy or that is no longer 
connected with personal interest or ambition. He was an 
ardent Englishman, proud of his country and eager to see it 
continue great and glorious, and its future strength he saw as 
clearly as anyone to depend on whether it could or could not 
maintain the attachment of the colonies. He thought that, 
if wisely handled, things might remain indefinitely on the 
present footing, the existing relations becoming stronger by 
mere force of custom. He said that no one in the colonies, 
except a few doctrinaires, ever contemplated separation 
deliberately and in cold blood. To more than this he did 
not at present look forward certainly not to a political 
union which would bring the colonies back in the least degree 
under the authority of the British Parliament. He did, I 
think, contemplate some eventual, far-off league between the 
members of the British race scattered over the world, for 
mutual defence and assistance. The policy of kindred he 
believed to be so strong in us that, in some form or other, 
America and the old home would again draw together, and 
the colonies would be included in the bond. But this lay 
visionary extremely visionary in a future utterly obscure ; 
and for my own part, though I have heard Americans express 
the same hope, I believe that if such a bond were ever 
formed, time, which dissolves all things, would soon dissolve 
it again. Nothing abides in this world but organic life, which 
can propagate itself from generation to generation. Mean- 
while, and for the immediate present, Sir George deprecated, 



SIX GEORGE ON FEDERATION 269 

as strongly as every other intelligent person with whom I had 
poken did, all artificial attempts at a mechanical union 
between the mother country and her own dependencies. 
The affection of the colonists for their old home was strong 
enough to resist ordinary trials and impatiences. One im- 
provement only he suggested which would lessen the friction. 
Each of the self -governed colonies, he thought, might have a 
representative chosen by itself, who should reside in London 
as her Majesty's minister for that colony, all business between 
the mother country and such colony being transacted through 
him, and only through the Secretary of State in Downing 
Street when Imperial interests were involved. He would not 
have such representatives form a council among themselves. 
He objected to this as strongly as Mr. Dalley had done. He 
did not wish them to have seats, with or without votes, in the 
British Parliament, because the interference of Parliament 
was the special thing which the colonists most disliked. It 
was this more than anything else which had led to so much 
evil at the Cape. We might make them Privy Councillors 
if we wished, and we might extend the same distinction 
to other colonial ministers of tried capacity. Hereditary 
titles were disliked and suspected in the colonies. The 
title of Right Honourable, if given for personal merit and 
for nothing else, would be unobjectionable and would be 
appreciated. 

As to the colonies themselves, responsible government as 
at present constituted might work well, he thought, in some of 
them, but did not answer in all, and did not answer in New 
Zealand. He spoke cautiously, but he evidently thought New 
Zealand was not wisely managed. Debts were accumulated 
recklessly, and there was no effective control over the expen- 
diture of money so easily raised. It was better than direct 
government from Downing Street, but that was all that could 
be said. 

Happily, we had other subjects to talk about besides 
politics. Late in life, and when the sun is near setting, the 
horizon clears, and the eye looks out into the great beyond. 
Sir George was not only a serious man. but he wa a religiout 



270 OCEANA 

man in the conventional sense. There were the signs of nn 
evangelical training about him. He said grace before all meals, 
not only before dinner. He gathered his people about him 
every day for ' worship.' He had the evangelical softness of 
speech, and used phrases which are seldom heard from men 
who have been largely engaged in the practical business of the 
world. His mind was wide open. He knew how things were 
going in the speculative and critical departments. But at his 
age he did not care to distract himself with modern theories. 
Religion was to him the sanctification of the ordinary rules of 
duty, and the acknowledgment of the dependence of the 
creature on the Power which made him. Duty was a fact. 
It was a fact that we had not made ourselves. Some form or 
other under which these supreme realities could be recognised 
was indispensable if we were not to forget them, and the forms 
under which he had been taught as a child sufficed for him now 
in his age. 

The influence which be had exerted over his servant* and 
workmen (perhaps 1 should use the American expression and 
call them his ' helps ') was really remarkable. He had once 
nineteen men in his employment in the island. There were now 
but seven, and they managed everything gardens, farms, 
forests, boats, fisheries, game. Between him and them, though 
he and they were alike Republicans, there had grown up un- 
consciously a feudal relationship, and they seemed to feel that 
they belonged to one another for life. In manners these men 
were gentlemen : courteous, manly, deferential to Sir George, 
for whom they felt as the sons of Ivor felt for Fergus ; but 
with him and everyone frank, open, and sincere ; contradicting 
him if necessary, and looking boldly in his face while they 
did so. 

There was a small cutter in the harbour, and one morning 
I went out alone with the head boatman for a sail. He 
described his own condition as one in which he had nothing 
left to wish for. It was a fine thing, he said, to live in a free 
country. I asked him what he meant by ' free ' : was it thai 
everyone had a vote in sending members to parliament f He 
Uughed. He had a vote of course, but it had never occurred 



A RETAINERS NOTION OF LIBERTY *t\ 

to him that a vote had anything to do with freedom. He 
meant a country where he could go where he pleased, and do 
what he pleased, and had no one but his own employer to in- 
terfere with him. The parliament did no good that he knew 
of, and would do worse if Sir George did not keep his eye upon 
it. A poor man could not get land in New Zealand. They 
had passed an Act by which it could not be sold in lots of less 
than twenty acres. In the surveys each forty acres had been 
divided into unequal portions. The rich people, knowing what 
they were about, bought the larger section. A poor man 
would apply for the smaller, and was told that there had 
been an error in the survey. He could not have it because it 
was below the statutory dimension, and the rich had the use 
of the whole, when they had paid for only half. I cannot say 
what truth there may have been in this. Some trick or other 
was perhaps played, for the complaint of the difficulty in ob- 
taining small lots of land was universal. My boatman any 
way seemed to hold parliament so extremely cheap that I 
suggested that they had better make Sir George king ; his in- 
fluence would thus be greater. This was going too far. 
' King 1 ' he said ; ' we have done with kings ; we want no 
kings here.' { Well, then, President,' I said ; ' President, aa 
the Americans have. The name is of no consequence if we 
can have the thing.' This satisfied him better. He asked me, 
rather wistfully, if England would be likely to allow them to 
elect their president. He was a splendid-looking young fellow, 
six feet high, and shaped like an Apollo. He had been eight 
years with Sir George, and for four he had never left the 
island. To be the willing dependent of a man whom he could 
look up to and admire, was his highest conception of honour, 
happiness, and liberty. 

Sir George was proud of his ' Barataria, 1 and liked it to be 
seen. On certain days he threw open house and grounds to 
excursion parties from Auckland. A steamerful would come. 
They took possession of his garden. They ran freely about 
bis rooms and staircases. They did no harm, he said. They 
perhaps learnt a little, and at any rate enjoyed themselves. 
Indulgence of this kind was prudent, and perhaps necessary. 



W OCEANA 

There might be some jealousy, he said, in go republican a corn* 
munity if he was tempted by his love of privacy into exclusive- 
ness. Auckland is a yachting place ; the young clerks and 
merchants keep a few smart cutters among them ; and now and 
then a party would sail over and ask for a few days' shooting. 
It was never refused. He allowed one buck for each yacht, 
but he added sorrowfully, ' They wound more than they kilL' 

There was no inroad of this kind during our stay, and we 
wandered about in solitude. The extraordinary beauty of the 
place struck us more every day. No landscape gardener could 
have spread his plantations with better art than Sir George. 
Hillsides and valleys are clothed with pines of all varieties ; 
many thousands of them must now be growing there, eighty 
and a hundred feet high, all raised by himself from seed, and 
their dark forms distinguish the island among the surrounding 
groups. Besides the pines he has oak and walnut, maple and 
elm, poplar, ash, and acacia. A clump of immense cedars 
stands close to the house, and round the grounds are groves of 
magnolia and laurel and bay. From the Cape he had brought 
the mimosa and the Caffre-baum, and the whole air is per- 
fumed with orange-blossom and citron and stephanotis. Hi* 
special pleasure was to lead us from vantage-ground to van- 
tage-ground, where, through glade or opening, the outside 
landscape was let in ; the sea with the sparkling blue of the 
Mediterranean ; the air of the pure transparency which belong! 
only to those lower latitudes ; island rising behind island, and 
ridge beyond ridge, till in the far distance the high mountain 
ranges dissolved into violet clouds, and melted away and were 
gone. Then he would take us into the bush, amidst the un- 
trimmed negligence of nature, where a brood of wild turkeys, 
fearless because never disturbed, would be seen perched to- 
gether on the branch of a fallen tree. A dreaming stag would 
start up amidst the fern at our footsteps, lift his antlered head 
and survey us, and trot away into the forest. There were 
wild boars in the woods, and a few elk, but they kept in the 
jungle in daytime, and we saw none of them. Passing a 
deep reed-bed which fringed a creek, I was startled by a roar 
cloe at my ears. Looking round, I perceived the head of 



THE ISLAND FAUNA AND FLORA 73 

huge black bull, who was glaring at us not six yards off. Sir 
George was undisturbed. He seemed to know that none of 
these creatures would molest us. All living things of earth 
or air were on confidential terms with him. The great New 
Zealand pigeons, large as blackcock, fluttered among the 
leaves above our heads, spread their wings, acd made a circuit 
to show their shining plumage, then settled again as calmly as 
they might have settled in Adam's garden before the Fall. It 
was very pretty one so rarely sees the natural movements of 
wild birds. They know man only as their enemy, and when 
they get a sight of him they are anxious and alarmed. Sir 
George understood the habits of them all. He talked about 
natural history as easily as he talked of everything else in a 
genial, soft, deferential tone, his blue eyes fixed half on his 
listener and half on vacancy, while he poured out information 
which must have cost him years of study. Singular man ! I 
could enter now into the feelings with which he was regarded 
in every part of the world where he had played a part. Even 
now, at the eleventh hour, I wish the Colonial Office would 
restore him to the Cape. It would cost him his life, but he 
would cheerfully sacrifice the few years that may be left to 
him, part with Kawau and the beauties which he has created 
there, to do his country one last service. In these walks we 
had an opportunity of seeing the undergrowth in the woods 
which we had admired at a distance on our drive to the lake. 
The ferns were the great ornament ; tree-ferns fifty feet high, 
with great fronds twenty-five feet long, feathering from the 
crest ; the fern-palm, with leaves yet longer, striking spirally 
from the stem, and stretching upwards in easy arches ; on the 
ground, besides the common varieties, a kidney fern, which 
was new to me curious, if not otherwise remarkable ; and 
climbing fern, which crept over stick and stone, hanging in 
long festoons with pale green fronds transparent, like the 
Killarney fern the most perfectly lovely subject for imitation 
in wood-carving that I have ever met with. These grew 
everywhere, covering the whole surface ; only the majestic 
Kauri tolerated no approaches to his dignity. Under his 
branches all was bare and brown. 



174 OCEANA 

We made one delightful expedition into the interior. Start 
ing, like Robinson Crusoe, in a boat for the extreme end of it, 
we picnicked in a rocky cove. Sir George then guided me up 
a steep hillside through a dense thicket of Ti-tree. We 
emerged on the brow, upon the open neck of a long peninsula 
which reached out into the ocean, with the remains, now over- 
grown, of a grassy track which once ran across the island, and 
ended at the house. It had been cut and cleared as a bridle- 
road, and Sir George used in past years to take his early ride 
there with a favourite niece. Strange that in these new 
countries one should already have to witness decay and altera 
tion ! Sir George has ceased to ride ; a little more and his 
island and he will be parted for ever. 

For age will rust the brightest blade, 
And time will break the stoutest bow ; 
Was never wight to starkly made 
But time and age will lay him low. 

We turned from the path into the forest, forcing our way 
with difficulty through the thicket. Suddenly we came on a 
spot where three-quarters of an acre, or an acre, stood bare of 
any kind of undergrowth, but arched over by the interwoven 
branches of four or five gigantic Pokutukama trees, whose 
trunks stood as the columns of a natural hall or temple. The 
ground was dusty and hard, without trace of vegetation. The 
roots twisted and coiled over it like a nest of knotted pythons, 
while other pythons, the Rata parasites, wreathed themselves 
round the vast stems, twined up among the boughs, and disap- 
peared among the leaves. It was like the horrid shade of some 
Druid's grove, and the history of it was as ghastly as its ap- 
pearance. Here, at the beginning of this century, the Maori 
pirates of the island had held their festivals. To this place 
they had brought their prisoners ; here they had slain them 
and hung their carcases on these branches to be cut and sliced 
for spit or caldron. Here, when their own turn came, they 
had made their last bloody stand against the axes of the 
invaders, and had been killed and devoured in turn. I could 
fancy that I saw the smoking fires, the hideous preparations, 
UM dusky groups of savage warriors. I could hear the shrieks 



SHARK-FISHING Vj\ 

of the victims echoing through the hollows of the forest. We 
ourselves picked up relics of the old scenes, stone knives and 
chisels and axeheads, forgotten when all was over and the 
island was left to desolation. 

Sir George was a perfect host. He had his own occupa- 
tions, and he left us often to amuse ourselves as we liked : 
E making sketches, and I attempting the like with un- 
equal hand and at distant interval. The boats and boatmen 
were at our disposition. I, as an old sea-fisherman, was curious 
to see the varieties of fish to be found in these waters. The 
men promised to show me as many as I pleased ; and one after- 
noon we sailed two or three miles away among the islands, 
brought up there, and sent out our lines. We had caught a 
bream or two, very like the bream of the Channel, when we 
found the lines torn out of our hands, and tackle broken to 
pieces by some monster of another kind. The men knew what 
they had to deal with ; they produced Vines like colour hal- 
yards, hooks such as you would hang > flitch of bacon on, 
mounted on a foot of chain which no tooth could cut. Half a 
mallet made the bait, and instantly that we had them over- 
board each of us was fast in a shark not sharks of the largest 
size, but man-eaters six or seven feet long and a foot in 
diameter. It was desperate work ; we dragged the creatures 
by brute force alongside, where our friends stunned them with 
heavy clubs, hauled them in, and flung them under the thwarts. 
Two hours of it was as much as we were equal to ; our hands 
were cut with the lines, and the carnage was sickening. In 
that time we had caught twenty-nine, running from forty to 
seventy pounds' weight. An archbishop, once killing a wasp 
with an eagerness which someone present thought unbecoming, 
defended himself by saying that it was part of the battle 
against sin. Sharks are as sinful as wasps and are natural 
enemies besides. Their livers are full of oil, and our after- 
noon's sport was worth three or four pounds to the men. But 
it was not a beautiful operation, and a single experience was 
enough. 

There was a return match to this adventure where the 
harks were near having an innings. I was still anxious to 

u 



*?6 OCEANA 

see more of the smaller fish, and another day, after luncheon, 
the sky threatening nothing but a calm, I and my son started, 
with a single hand, in a dingy about sixteen feet long, for a 

second trial. would not go. There were only three of 

us, and three was as many as such a boat would conveniently 
hold. A soft breeze gently rippled the water ; we sailed across 
an open channel, the only channel, unluckily for us, which was 
exposed to the ocean swell. We anchored again under the lee 
of some rocks which were covered at high tide. We worked 
away for an hour or two, finding no sharks, but finding little 
else. The afternoon was drawing on, and we were about to 
set our sail and return, when a singular-looking cloud formed 
up rapidly to seaward. It looked as if a shower were coming, 
and, as a puff of wind might come with it, we thought it better 
to stay where we were till it was over. The shower did not 
come, but the squall did, and instead of passing off as we 
expected, it grew into a gale, every moment blowing more 
fiercely. The two miles of water between us and our haven 
were a sheet of boiling foam ; to row across was impossible. 
To try to cross close-hauled under sail, as from the wind's 
direction we should be obliged to do, would be certain destruc- 
tion. Our cockle-shell would have filled and gone down with 
the first wave we met. When the tide rose there would be no 
shelter where we were lying. There was an island under our 
lee a quarter of a mile off, about an acre in extent, not more. 
The mainland was five miles off. We waited, hoping that a 
storm which had come so suddenly would drop as it had risen ; 
but drop it would not, and the sea grew wilder and wilder, and 
it was now growing dusk. The boatman said that we had two 
courses before us : we might drop behind the little island, and 
lie there for the night. We could not land upon it ; the waves 
were washing too heavily all round ; but the rocks would 
keep off the wind, and the boat would ride safely, unless the 
wind changed. We had neither coats nor rugs, and the 
prospect of being rocked about all night in an open cradle in a 
storm was in itself unpleasant, while if the wind shifted there 
would be an end of us. The alternative was to run for the 
mainland. Though we could not cross the seas we might run 



A BOAT ADVENTURE 277 

before them. I asked if there was a harbour. There was no 
harbour, but there was a long sloping, sandy shore. Our boat 
drew but a few inches of water. The large waves would break 
some way out. If we escaped swamping in the outer line of 
breakers, we should then be in comparatively smooth water and 
would drive on till we could walk ashore. 

There was a farmhouse where we could sleep, if we could 
succeed in getting on land at all. Between these two courses 
I was to choose and to choose quickly, for night was coming on. 
We could not stay where we were, and in twenty minutes the 
land would be invisible. I decided to run. We set the foresail, 
a mere rag ; our attendant, who was as cool as if he had been 
standing on Sir George's pier, sat forward to hold the sheet in 
his hands. I took the helm, fixed my eyes on the point which we 
were to make for, and we shot away over the crests of the boiling 
sea. The danger was that a following wave might strike our 
stern and fill us, but the boat was buoyant and flew through the 
foam. The waves in our wake looked ugly, curling over and 
rushing after us. My companions saw them. I had my work 
to attend to and looked straight forward. Nothing hurt us. 
The danger was not so great as it seemed so long as we 
managed our boat properly. It grew dark, but there were 
lights in the farmhouse window which served to steer by. 
Our hearts beat a little when we came up to the breakers, but 
there was no help for it. We could only go at them, and we 
dashed through on the bursting crest of a big roller. 

In another minute we were running quietly through 
smooth and shallowing water. We took off shoes and stock- 
ings, stepped overboard, and dragged our boat ashore. 

Two tall, athletic young men came down over the beach to 
help us. They had seen us coming, knew what must have 
happened, and guessed where we came from. To be friends of 
Sir George Grey was to be sure of help and hospitality at 
every house on the coast of the North Island. They told us 
that their mother would make us welcome : and thus what 
might have been a misadventure of a serious kind ended in 
giving me an opportunity of seeing a new side of English life 
in New Zealand. 

>J a 



7 OCEANA 

The tide was low when we landed. The sands were set 
with oyster-shells, a good many of them placed edgeways. We 
were barefooted, and it was so dark that we could not see 
where we were stepping, so that I have a lively recollection of 
the three hundred yards which we had to walk before we 
reached the house. 

^ It was a substantial wooden mansion, with big trees about 
it, a verandah and garden in front, and a large back-yard 
with various outhouses. Hills covered with forest rose darkly 
behind and on either side. I could see little more, as the light 
was almost gone, but in the morning, when I could look about 
me, I found that between these hills and reaching up to the 
farm station, there was a fair expanse of rich level land, part 
under the plough, part in meadow, with herds of cattle feeding 
on it. A river ran down through the middle of the valley, 
forming a lagoon before it reached the sea, the banks of which 
were littered with the skeletons of rotting trees. 

Our conductor led us to the door, took us in, and intro- 
duced us. I could have fancied myself in a Boer's house in 
South Africa. The passage opened' into a large central apart- 
ment with open roof and strong and solid rafters, which served 
as hall, kitchen, and dining-room. A large wood fire was 
burning in the grate, which had an oven and fire-plate attached 
to it. The walls shone with pots, pans, dishes, plates, all clean 
and shining. There was a settle, a sofa or two, some strong 
chairs, and a long table with a fixed seat at the end for the 
head of the family. Doors opened into bedrooms, which were 
chiefly on the ground floor. In front, where the verandah 
was, there were best rooms, reserved for company and state 
occasions, but the life of the establishment was in the hall- 
kitchen which we first entered. The owner was a matron at 
about sixty, a good-natured but energetic, authoritative woman, 
who had once been a servant, had married a Portuguese, and 
had been left a widow with three sons and two daughters. 
Something, a very little, had been secured to her as a provision. 
She had purchased a small farm at this place when land was 
more easy to be had than at present. } She had thriven upon 
it, she had added to it, and had now 500 acres of her own 



A NEW ZEALAND FARMHOUSE 179 

the richest parts reclaimed and the rest in primitive forest 
Her farm stock was worth 1,500?., and she also owned houses 
in Auckland, besides money out at interest. Her eldest son 
had married and gone from her, and so had one daughter. 
She was now living alone with the remaining daughter and 
the two younger sons whom I had seen. She had no servant, 
and they did the entire work of the house and the farm 
between them. The young men cut the timber, ploughed, dug, 
fenced, and took care of the cattle. Mother and daughter 
kept all in order within doors, cooked the food, washed, made, 
and mended the clothes, <fec., all in a notable way. As there 
were rooms to spare, and as any possible addition to the income 
was not to be neglected, summer lodgers from Auckland were 
occasionally taken in for sea-bathing. This was the explana- 
tion of a ladylike young woman whom we found there with 
two or three children, evidently not members of the family. 

We all had supper together, consisting of tinned meat, 
bread, and tea rough but good and wholesome. The song 
and Sir George's man went out afterwards to see after the 
boat, which we had left moored on the sands. They returned 
after half-an-hour to say that the night was so dark that they 
could see nothing, and the wind and sea so furious that they 
could scarcely approach the beach. They had not found the 
boat nor any traces of it, and concluded that it had gone to 
pieces. 

There was nothing for it but to go to bed and to sleep, 
which we succeeded in doing, the beds being as clean as care 
could make them. Our principal anxiety was for Sir George, 
who we knew must be alarmed, but we could not consider our- 
selves to blame. It had been a misfortune and nobody's fault. 
He would have seen the storm come on, and would conjecture 
what must have become of us. The tempest roared on through 
the night. Looking out in the morning, we saw a wild scene 
of driving sand and foam, but through it all, at any rate, we 
beheld our little boat riding safely where we had left her. The 
tide had risen. Buoyant as a cork, she had floated dry in 
breakers where a stouter vessel would have been swamped and 
wrecked. 



a8o OCEANA 

We saw that we had means of getting home again when 
the weather would let us, and our worst care was removed, 
We breakfasted as we had supped, the whole party sitting 
round the table. The mother presided, decently saying grace. 
We walked afterwards round the farm, saw the cattle and 
crops, saw the young men cutting Ti-bush, and carting it to 
the sea to be shipped for Auckland. Two young ladies 
cantered up on their ponies from some adjoining station for a 
morning call. It was all very pretty a quiet home of peace- 
ful and successful industry, far pleasanter for one to look at 
than the high wages and hot-pressed pleasures of the large 
towns. One day there will be homesteads such as this all over 
New Zealand, when the municipalities can borrow no more 
and the labourers must disperse or starve. 

At midday the wind lulled ; the sea dropped ; and we 
could take our leave. Our good landlady charged me and my 
eon four shillings each for two suppers, two breakfasts, and 
two faultless beds. Sir George's boatman had been enter- 
tained as a friend, and for him nothing was to be paid at all. 
All the virtues seemed to thrive in that primitive establish- 
ment. The good people could hardly have been paid the cost 
of what we consumed. I was glad and proud to have made 
acquaintance with a family whom I counted as one of the 
healthiest that I had met with in all my travels. We started 
home, and our stout little barque rattled through the water 
and worked to windward as if proud of what she had gone 
through. Half-way back we were met by a steamer, which 
had gone into Kawau for shelter from the gale, and had been 
despatched by Sir George to look for us. He had been more 
uneasy than his consideration for us would allow him to 
acknowledge. * 

This was the last day of our visit. The week which we 
had passed at Kawau was one of the most interesting which 1 
remember in my life, and our host certainly was one of th 
most remarkable men. It is sad to think that in all human 
likelihood I shall never see Sir George Grey again. When he 
dies, the Maori and the poor whites in New Zealand will have 
lost their truest friend, and England will have lost a public 



A UCKLAND 281 

servant, among the best that she ever had, whose worth she 
failed to understand. 

In another week the ' Australia,' sister-ship to the ' City of 
Sydney,' would call for us at Auckland. My purpose was to 
return by San Francisco and the United States. Sir James 
Harrington had seen in prophecy the English race dispersed 
over the whole globe. The greatest of all its branches in its 
own opinion no branch any longer, but the main trunk of the 
tree was, of course, America ; and it would be interesting to 
contrast and compare what the ' plantations ' of Harrington's 
time had grown into, and of which he was chiefly thinking 
when he wrote his ' Oceana,' with the ' Oceanic ' planets which 
still revolve around the English primary. There was not time 
left for further distant expeditions. There were several able 
and superior men in Auckland whose opinions about many 
things I was anxious to learn. There was Professor Aldis and 
his wife, who were of the elect of cultivated man and woman- 
kind. So we arranged to remain at the club there till the 
steamer arrived. Everybody was good and hospitable to us, 
and tried to make our time pass pleasantly. The bishop 
showed us at leisure Selwyn's house and library ; the trees now 
surrounding the palace, which he had himself planted; the 
genius of him still traceable in the rooms and the bookcases 
and the furniture. Selwyn's appointment to New Zealand had 
been a notable thing in its day. Colonial bishops going among 
savages were less common than they are now. We had laughed 
over Sydney Smith's cold missionary on the sideboard, with 
which the chiefs were to entertain him. He was an athlete, 
and we had heard of him as swimming rivers with his chaplain 
when out on visitation, <fec. He was the first, and much the 
best, of the muscular Christians, who at one time were to have 
been the saviours of society. His name was connected for 
ever with the history of English New Zealand, and we looked 
respectfully on the traces which remained of his presence. 

Social duties fell on us of the usual kind. We dined with 
Auckland merchants, one of them with a mansion and esta- 
blishment on the scale of Sydney, and for his lady an artist 
of high accomplishments. Dinner-parties sadly resemble one 



282 OCEANA 

another. Colonial society is too imitative of home manners, 
and would be livelier if it ventured on originality; but no 
strangers anywhere could have been received with more kind- 
ness or with more desire to do the best they could for us. The 
Aldises kept their word and called on us, and invited us to 
their home under Mount Eden. The situation of their resi- 
dence, save for the purity of sky and air, reminded me of 
suburban houses in our own Black Country, for the roads and 
walks were made with cinder and slag, and the rockwork of 
their garden was composed of masses of lava which had been 
vomited from the crater overhead. But Mount Eden was now 
sleeping ; the rocks were overgrown with mesembryanthemum, 
and beds of violets were springing up between them, and 
though it was a strange place in which to find the most brilliant 
mathematician that Cambridge has produced for half a century, 
he and his wife contrived to find life pass pleasantly there. 
Nay, they looked back on Newcastle, where they had spent 
their first years after leaving the university, as in comparison 
a sort of Tartarus, an abode of damned souls. The professor 
went daily into the town for his duties at the college, and he 
had pupils, he told me, of real promise, quite as likely to dis- 
tinguish themselves as any that he had taught at home. In- 
deed, he spoke very well of the rising generation of colonials. 
At a university and among students anxious to learn, he was 
likely to see the most favourable specimens, but I took his 
testimony as a welcome corrective to the denunciations which 
I had heard elsewhere, so generally, from their elders. Son* 
cannot always be the exact copies of their fathers, and their 
fathers are a little too ready to mistake difference for in- 
feriority. 

A practical difficulty in colonial life is to find good servant*, 
Sir George Grey's people were an exception. They were like 
feudal lieges. But the best emigrants prefer independence; 
and ladies and gentlemen, after suffering for a year or two 
under the inflictions of bad domestics, learn to do without and 
manage for themselves. Professor and Mrs. Aldis had one 
girl to help them in the house, and a poor creature of a man, 
fit only for the lightest work, to keep the garden and look after 



AUCKLAND POLITICIANS 283 

a pony and pony-carriage. So living they described themselves 
as perfectly happy. Our English universities deserve the 
gratitude of Victoria and New Zealand. They gave away 
Martin Irving to one ; they gave Professor Aldis to the other; 
perhaps, however, without entire consciousness of the worth 
of what they were parting with. Had Mr. Aldis been a 
clergyman of the Established Church, he might have rip<m to 
an archbishopric. There was no distinction which he might 
not have claimed, or for which the completeness of his Christian 
belief would not have qualified him. But in his own judgment, 
which was probably as excellent on this point as on others, he 
was better as he was. In his house there was no gossip, poli- 
tical or personal. Of politics he kept prudently clear, as no 
business of his. But he talked, and talked admirably, on all 
subjects of enduring interest, with the clearness of scientific 
knowledge, and the good sense which it is so pleasant to listen 
to. 

On the topics of the day, on the state of the Colony, on the 
working of responsible government, the relations with the 
mother-country, <fcc., I found many persons willing and even 
eager to give us their opinions. A few things that were said 
to me are characteristic and worth preserving. I avoid names, 
as I wish only to give the notions which are floating in the 
air. 

There was considerable unanimity about the existing form 
of government in New Zealand. No one defended it. Two 
houses with paid members were allowed to do their work as ill 
as possible, and to be an expensive instrument for political 
corruption and jobbery. Those who were in favour of the 
maintenance of the English connection, and those who were 
against it, held the same language, though they differed much 
as to what they would prefer in exchange. One gentleman 
amused me considerably with his views. He expressed the 
greatest loyalty to England, which he declared to be the uni- 
versal feeling of the whole Colony ; but it was a loyalty which 
implied that we were to continue to do everything for them 
protect their coasts, lend them money as long as they wanted 
it, and allow them to elect a governor who should be entirely 



284 OCEANA 

independent of as. He repudiated all forma of confederation, 
would not hear of a political association with the rest of the 
empire, rejected with scorn Mr. Dalley's notion that the colonies 
should contribute to the expenses of the navy. A navy, of 
course, was needed, but we were to bear the whole expense 
every part of it. Let us do all this cheerfully and then we 
should see how attached they would be to us. He did not, 
indeed, promise that the interest on the money with which we 
were to provide them would continue to be paid. It was im- 
ptxsible for them, he said, to pay by taxation the interest on 
the debt as it stood. They would pay as long as they could 
borrow : and he seemed to think that this ought to be sufficient, 
and that we could not expect them to do more. It was a 
maxim of politics that no one was bound by engagements which 
he could not fulfil. He assured me that at the present time 
the interest was paid out of the loans, although the Treasury 
accounts represented it as paid out of revenue. I told him 
that, if this was so, it was the business of him, and of those 
who agreed with him, to bring the truth to light and to put a 
stop to the borrowing. Repudiation would have serious con- 
sequences. But he seemed to think that to cease to borrow 
and to repudiate would go together, nor could I make him see 
that after all the consequences to them would be serious at all. 
We should lose our money ; but they would have paid us if 
they could. His coolness took my breath away. He did add, 
at last, that there was one resource between them and bank- 
ruptcy. There was the Native Reserve. It was the richest 
hind in the islands, and, if necessary, could be entered upon 
and sold. The English creditor will scarcely be satisfied with 
such a return of ways and means. 

The conversation of so random a gentleman would not 
have been worth recording on its own account, but it is true 
that the rapid increase of New Zealand indebtedness is causing 
grave anxiety to persons of greater consideration. The debt, 
they told me, was out of all proportion to so small a com- 
munity, and though it might appear on the surface that the 
trade of the Colony was increasing along with it, yet part at 
leaot of the seeming prosperity +* due to the expenditure of 



THE NEW ZEALAND DEBT 285 

the loans themselves, and to the customs' duties on the gooda 
which the high wages, as long as they last, enabled the workmen 
to buy. The land, in the North Island at least, was not being 
developed as it is in Australia. It was falling into the hands 
of speculators. It was being bought over the heads of the 
poor by successful men of business, who, when the pressure 
came, were dreaming of reproducing the old division of a 
landed aristocracy with tenants and labourers under them. 
A landed aristocracy growing of itself might be a necessary 
and useful institution. A landed aristocracy created by legis- 
lative manoeuvring could be nothing but an evil. So serious 
appeared the peril to those who had courage to look forward, 
that there was already an agitation for a land tax. If the 
debt was not to be repudiated (which, at least for the present, 
no rational person contemplated), taxation was inevitable 
sooner or later. It was only postponed by borrowing, and as 
it was certain that the workmen would not tax themselves or 
their own favourite commodities, a land tax, and a heavy one, 
was the form which it was likely to assume. 

No one would regret a land tax who is a real friend to 
New Zealand, but one does and must regret the extravagance 
which may make it necessary, and may overload for many 
years the energies of the Colony. I was in an office one day 
on money business. The member of the firm with whom I 
was engaged, alluded, when our own affair was disposed of, to 
the new loan which had just been taken up in the English 
market, and expressed his surprise that the London capitalists 
were willing to lend so largely, and on such easy terms, to so 
small a community. What could they expect 1 I said that 
the accounts were published. The money was represented as 
being spent on railways or on public works sure to be repro- 
ductive. This was a sufficient security. He looked at me 
ambiguously. ' Thirty- two millions,' he said, ' is a large debt 
for half a million people, and perhaps you do not know that 
the municipal debts are, at least, as much more as the national 
debt. No doubt the money goes upon works of some kind, 
and some of the railways may pay their expenses ; but as to a 
reproductiveness, within any reasonable period, in the least 



iM OCEANA 

corresponding to the cost, there may be some uncertainty. 
However, he said, it was our own affair, and as long as we 
were ready to lend, they would not cease to borrow. 

Uncomfortable impressions of this kind do exist among 
persons on the spot who have means of forming independent 
opinions. I do not pretend that they are well founded. Sir 
Julius Vogel, or the agent-general in London, may have a 
satisfactory reply to all unfavourable criticisms ; but when an 
alarm is widely felt, and is whispered under breath in so many 
quarters, it would be well if it could be set at rest by clear 
statements which cannot be accused of ambiguity. The anxiety 
may be groundless, but it is not unnatural. A few plain 
words will quiet the minds of many worthy New Zealanders 
who are uneasy for the honour of their island. 

The South Island was still unvisited, and Lyttelton and 
Wellington and Christchurch and Dunedin and the Fiords and 
the Glaciers and the Giant Mountains. But no great variety 
was likely as yet to have established itself among the colonists. 
The type of character, the set of opinions, was probably the 
same, and in the pattern of the cloth you see the texture of 
the piece. It was better to see a few men deliberately than 
die outsides of many, and as far as they were concerned I did 
not feel that a wider acquaintance, however pleasant, would 
have been of any material advantage to me. Of the country 
so varied, so remarkable, the future home, as I believe it to 
be, of the greatest nation in the Pacific of that I would gladly 
have seen more, and would have stayed longer, had other con- 
ditions permitted. But the fast-thickening war rumours had 
established a homeward current for all wandering Englishmen, 
and we, like the rest, were swept along by the stream. It 
was not that we could affect the issues of things, or dreamt 
that we could, but there was not one of us whose domestic life 
would not be influenced in one way or another by war if it 
came, and we were too restless to be any longer amused or 
interested by other things. To me it was all inexplicabla I 
could understand the eagerness of the army, for they wanted 
employment. I could understand that the ministers might be 
driven against their judgment into doing anything which the 



WAR RUMOURS 287 

people clamoured for ministers, on both sides, having ceased 
to regard themselves as more than the instruments of the 
people's wishes. It was true that they were Radicals, and 
that the Radicals, till their turn of power came, had professed 
to hate war ; that they had denounced Lord Beaconsfield, and 
turned him out of office, for the jingoism which they were now 
adopting. But after we had seen them reddening the sands of 
Africa with the blood of tens of thousands of poor creatures 
who had been killed without a scruple to escape an adverse 
vote in the House of Commons, one could not deny that even 
they, or at least the politicians among them, might be willing, 
for the same object, to kill as many more in Asia. 

But why were the people themselves so eager ? Not one 
in a thousand of them could pretend that he had studied the 
question, and was satisfied that only a war could save our 
Indian Empire. Danger to the empire might be the excuse ; 

it could not be the motive. I began to think that Lord 

must have been right when he said to me : ' The reason why 
the English wish to fight Russia is that they enjoy fighting, 
and Russia is the only one of the Great Powers with whom 
they could fight with the slightest hope of a favourable result.' 
Prudent persons, before they undertake any important enter- 
prise, balance the result to be gained with the cost of gaining 
it. A war set going with Russia under the existing conditions 
would continue either till Russia was exhausted and fell to 
pieces in revolution ; or, if we were the unsuccessful party 
as it was at least possible that we might be till there was 
another rebellion in India. Either alternative promised in- 
calculable misery to millions of the human race ; yet we, who 
could not manage our own South Africa, who were letting 
Ireland slip from us, as wanting strength or wanting courage 
to hold it, were preparing with a light heart to carry fire and 
sword into the ends of the earth. 

Russia, we were told, was extending her conquestsin Central 
Asia. Had we made no conquests in Asia ? Russia's Asiatic 
subjects, counted altogether, do not exceed thirty millions. 
The Empress of India has two hundred and fifty millions. 
Russia was attacking the Afghans. Had we never attacked 



88 OCEANA 

the Afghans t Russia was a danger to the Indian Empire. 
She might encourage disaffection there, and if she could she 
would. How could we know that she would ? and if she did, 
might she not plead our own example : only seven years ago 
we had formed a deliberate plan to stir up a revolt in Turkestan f 
We satisfy ourselves that when we do these things it is for the 
good of mankind, but that when others do them it is wicked 
and not to be permitted. Such a plea as this will hardly pass 
current in the intercourse of nations. For myself, I thought 
that the war now so clamoured for would be a wicked war, 
and I clung to my conviction that our better genius would 
somehow keep us out of it. The greatest fool in the House 
of Commons, if left to himself and to his own small under- 
standing, would steer the ship of the State better than the 
galaxy of genius had done which formed Mr. Gladstone's Ad- 
ministration ; but even they, I trusted, would still keep us clear 
of this fresh disaster. 

In leaving New Zealand we should be leaving the telegraph. 
We could hear nothing more till we reached the Sandwich 
Islands, or probably till we reached San Francisco ; and I 
looked forward with real satisfaction to the month of quiet 
which lay before us, when we should be no more distracted by 
the broken patches of news which had been dropping in upon 

us from hour to hour. E , who was going home with us, 

shared none of my feelings. He, a high Scotch Tory, hated 
the Russians with genuine party vigour. Why the Tories 
should hate Russia, which alone maintains in Europe the old- 
fashioned Tory principles, is one of those paradoxes which 
historians will hereafter puzzle over. As long as the Duke of 
Wellington lived, the Tories wished well to Russia, and the 
Whigs detested her ; now they have changed places. The 
two parties seem really to think of little save how to defeat 
one another. Consistency and principle are valued only as 
virtues which one's enemies can be accused of being without. 
They wheel round each other like armies in the field, choosing 
their ground with a view to the immediate campaign. For 
decency's sake they cannot avow the true motives of their 
Action, and conceal it, even for themselves, behind a veil of 



THE ' AUSTRALIA* 289 

plausibilities ; but in a few years they may change places 

again, and will have excellent reasons for doing it. E 

any way was happy, thinking that we were going in for the 
Russians at last ; and so were a number of militia officers who 
had been recalled to their regiments, and were in high spirits 
at the prospect. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Sail for America The ' Australia ' Heavy weather A New Zealand colonist 
Easter in the Southern Hemisphere Occupations on board Samoa A 
missionary Parliamentary government in the Pacific Islands A young 
Australian The Sandwich Islands Honolulu American influence Bay 
of San Francisco. 

THR ' Australia ' was a ship of three thousand tons, and smartly 
fitted, as these Pacific steamers generally are. The ' City of 
Sydney ' was American. The ' Australia ' was English, with 
an English captain and English officers, the crew and attend- 
ants being principally Chinese. She was crowded to repletion. 
In the saloon we had a hundred and thirty passengers : 
colonial tourists going to Europe for the summer ; wealthy 
families taking a sea voyage for a holiday ; young married 
couples on their honeymoon, die. All the idle people in 
Auckland must have been on the pier to see us off. Deck, 
cabins, were thronged with the sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, 
who had come on board for a last leave-taking. From the 
tears, embraces, and exclamations, it might have seemed we 
were taking our departure to the other world. I heard a 
young lady who was sitting alone with a single companion 
observe, ' Isn't it lovely to have nobody to care about one, and 
so escape all that 1 ' 

We were going north, right up to the line. We were 
warned that it would be hot, and hot it proved, but under 
conditions more intolerable than I had before experienced, 
The sky was overcast. We had rain and heavy head- winds. 
The seas flew over the deck, the ports were closed, the hatches 
hut dowr. The temperature in the saloon was 85, and even 



29c OCEANA 

the windsails were removed, because rain and spray drove 
down them, wetted the passages, and gave the stewards 
trouble. I protested against this last enormity. I represented 
to the captain, who had his own quarters on deck and did not 
suffer, that we should all be found smothered some morning, 
as in a Black Hole of Calcutta, and that I did not wish to die 
of the stench of my fellow-creatures. 'Their esprit fort, I 

suppose you mean,' said E . The spirit of wit moved the 

captain's heart more than my expostulations. Our windsails 
were set up again, and we had a current of air among us, 
though damp and tepid as in an orchid house. 

When a number of people are shut up together for three 
or four weeks, a process is set up of natural selection. We 
find out those who suit us, and we have time to become 
intimate with them. I was chiefly attracted by a rough, 
elderly Scotchman, who had been thirty years in New 
Zealand, had made a fortune there, and was now on his way 
home, not to remain, but to look about him in the old country 
and see how things were going on. He was a shrewd, 
original old gentleman, cynical more than enough, but good- 
humoured at bottom, and very entertaining. He was rich, 
and took the rich man's view of things, but if he had suc- 
ceeded it had been in fair fight. He had been thrown into 
the arena of colonial life with thousands of others. They had 
failed, or they were still undistinguished in the general herd. 
He had made his way to the front. He was an illustration of 
the survival of the strongest, was worth attending to, and was 
excellent company. In his youth, when he had nothing, he 
had been a Radical. He had become a Tory in bis age, 
because he had property to lose, and did not wish to lie at the 
mercy of those who thought as he had once thought himself. 
His political views, however, showed more reading and general 
knowledge than I was prepared for. He did not believe in 
the permanence of any forms of government. None of them 
were good for very much, and they were always corrupting 
and requiring change. The English constitution he regarded 
as an accidental result of the struggle between the feudal 
and popular elements in the British nation. It had been 



A NEW ZEALAND COLONIST 291 

elevated into a principle, as a final solution of the great 
political problem. It had been held up as an example for all 
mankind, but its time was nearly out. It had failed every- 
where except with us, and with us it would fail too when there 
were no longer two parties, and the democracy was completely 
supreme. 

He was one of those who took an unfavourable view of 
the rising generation of colonists. The fathers, he said (just 
as if he had been an old Roman in Terence's time), had 
worked hard to make their fortune. The children only 
thought of spending it. They were idle and extravagant, 
living beyond their means, <fec., a complaint which has been 
heard before and will be heard while the human race con- 
tinues. He was sceptical about the value of education, or of 
what we now understand by that unconsidered word. His 
education had been in work. He had been taught to earn hia 
living with his hands. Lads nowadays, he complained, were 
not taught to work at all ; ' education ' was a mere sharpening 
of the wits. Suppose a Maori to learn to read and write, to 
be sent to college to learn science, mathematics, languages, 
and the rest of it ; but suppose him to have lost his courage 
and his sense of honour, and to have learnt to cheat, and 
to lie, and to gamble, as a good many educated white men 
did, had such a Maori gained very much ? In my Scot's 
opinion, the only progress worth speaking of was moral pro- 
gress. The rest was only change, and often a change for the 
worse. 

He had the national interest in religious questions, and 
talked much about such things in a sceptical way. We had 
some ritualistic ladies and gentlemen on board, whose ten- 
dencies provoked his sarcastic humour. They were indeed 
rather provoking. It was Passion week, and one of them 
told me that they had arranged for a ' celebration ' in the 
cabin on Easter Sunday. It would be so nice didn't I think 
so t I ought to have replied that ' nice ' was a strange word 
for such a thing. I let him go on, however, with an unmean- 
ing smile, axpfiov ycXdpas, paying homage with the rest of 
mankind to the universal genius of cant. But it set me 

z 



19 OCEANA 

thinking how strangely unsuited the Christian festivals were 
to the seasons of the other hemisphere. We were now in 
autumn, at the time of the feast of ' ingathering ' of the 
harvest, and Easter was the feast of the spring at the vernal 
equinox, when the weather was still cold and a 6re was 
burning on the High Priest's hearth. So with the rest. The 
Church services were adapted all of them to the occupations 
of the different periods of the year, beginning with Christmas 
at the winter solstice, when the sun, which had appeared to 
be dying, renewed its youth. Our religious traditions, like 
our poetry, are divorced in the southern hemisphere from 
their natural associations. They are exotics from another 
climate, and can only be preserved as exotics. 

Time and its tenses are strange things, and at theii 
strangest when one is travelling round the globe. The 
question is not only what season is it, but what day is it, and 
what o'clock is it. The captain makes it twelve o'clock when 
he tells us that it is noon ; and it seemed as if a supply of 
time was among the ship's stores ; for when we reached 180 
E. long., he presented us with an extra day, and we had two 
Thursdays, two eighths of April, in one week. As our course 
was eastward, we met the sun each morning before it would 
rise at the point where we had been on the morning before, 
and the day was, therefore, shorter than the complete period 
of the globe's revolution. Each degree of longitude repre- 
sented a loss of four minutes, and the total loss in a complete 
circuit would be an entire day of twenty-four hours. We had 
gone through half of it, and the captain owed us twelve hours. 
He paid us these, and he advanced us twelve more, which we 
should have spent or paid back to him by the time that we 
reached Liverpool. 

The weather mended with us. The heat continued. The 
sea water was still at 85, and the temperature at night could 
not fall much below it. But the air cleared. The stars shone 
clear after dark, and we watched for the pointers of the Great 
Bear, where, at their highest elevation, they stood vertical 
over the North Star and spoke to us of home. By-and-by 
the North Star himself showed above the horizon and Canopuj 



OCCUPATIONS ON BOARD 93 

aet and the Southern Cross, and we were once more in our 
own world. The Pagan gods again ruled in the familiar sky, 
and welcomed us back with steadfast, friendly glance. Our 
meals were a scramble, the attendance indifferent, the cooking 
execrable. Not that cooks or stewards were specially in 
fault. There were too many of us, and the vessel's staff was 
unequal to the demands upon it. But our windows could 
now stand open day and night, and air brought health, and 
health appetite. Five minutes after dinner it mattered little 
what we had eaten. We played chess, we played whist, we 
read books. Every noon there was a sweepstakes for the 
number of miles run in the tw.enty-four hours. The numbers 
which promised well were set up for auction, and there was 
fresh excitement. The morning bath was another incident 
There were five baths for us gentlemen, at which we were to 
take our turn, and every day between seven and eight o'clock 
some forty of us were to be seen sitting in rows, in gorgeous 
dressing-gowns, in the saloon, expecting our summons, the 
modest among us getting pushed aside, as at the Fool of 
Bethesda. 

On Sundays games were suspended, and we had the Church 
of England service, the captain, as usual, officiating. In the 
evenings clerical volunteers were allowed to preach. A young 
Dissenter of metaphysical tendencies was the chief performer, 
and once, being over ambitious, he blundered into the heresy 
of the Docetse. Christ, he told us, was never crucified never 
Christ, but only the body of Christ. We were not our bodies. 
We saw a certain figure with special stature, figure, and 
organs, and we called it collectively an individual man. But 
the man might lose eyes, arms, feet, yet be the same man still. 
His members were his, but they were not he. The man was 
something behind all these. The personality, the Ich, was 
something which could not be seen, could not be touched, could 
not be handled, still less could it be crucified. We were to 
reflect on this and find comfort in it. Everyone nowaday! 
goes in for amateur philosophy or for amateur Catholic ritual- 
ism ; but it is curious to see that they are all for toleration, 
and seem to think that we all mean the same thing though we 
say exactly the opposite, x 2 



94 OCEANA 

1 Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo ! ' I sometimes am 
inclined to cry : Oh for the hard voice of the uncompromising 
Genevan, who knew, at least, that lies were not truth, and 
that if taken into the soul they worked like poison there. The 
Genevans are extinct as the dodo and the moa. Tolerance 
means at bottom that no one knows anything about the mat- 
ter, and that one opinion is as good as another. Is there 
nothing which can be surely known t Is it true, for instance, 
that on ' the tracks of all evil deeds there follow avenging 
hell-hounds from which there is no escape ' t If such hounds 
there be, it is dangerous to leave their existence an open ques- 
tion for fools to doubt about. One opinion on that subject is 
clearly not as good as another, and we may recollect to our 
advantage how wise men have thought about it in other days. 

ffO(f>'ta. y&p IK rov 
K\fivbv foot vffarrai 



rf 5' (fi.fuv frr(? ipptvas 
fc&i fryct p 



1 There was one who wisely spake a famous word, that ill 
may seem to be good, and that when the gods will bring a 
man's soul to wreck they make ill to be his good/ 

' There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the 
end thereof is death.' That is a fact if anything is a fact ; 
yet, again, who is to be the judge t Who is sufficient for these 
things 1 Which is best or which is worst to tolerate all, to 
leave one fool to utter his folly and other fools to believe it, or 
to burn the wrong man at the stake t 

We touched at Samoa, famous lately for the German doings 
there. It was night. I saw from my berth the gleaming of 
lights and the large spars and masts of anchored steamers, but 
we were off again and out of sight of land before morning 
brought me on deck. A missionary came on board there who 
had passed his life among these islands. He was over seventy, 
but was still hale and vigorous. He was going home on busi- 
ness of the society, but intended to return, and seemed as if 
be had still many years of work in him. His conversation 



A SAMOAN MISSIONARY 295 

was interesting, for he had new things to tell us, talking ex- 
pansively about the natives and seeming to like them well. 
His voice and manners had at first a slight professional twang 
as if he thought something of that kind was expected of him. 
He gave me some tracts to read, and it appeared that among 
his other qualifications he was a polemical divine. There had 
been a wolf in his fold. A certain Mr. Coxe had been intro- 
ducing latitudinarianism into Polynesia, had written a pam- 
phlet on Universal Salvation, and had ventured an opinion that 
mcked men, wicked angels, and even the devil himself, would 
be eventually converted and received to grace. Mr. Coxe's 
teaching had been dangerously popular. The missionary had 
taken the field against him, and had written a pamphlet on 
Eternal Damnation, which he gave me to peruse, and seemed 
anxious for my suffrage. Allowing for differences of expres- 
sion, I was wholly of his way of thinking. If the devil had 
been capable of redemption, he would have been redeemed 
before he had been allowed to do so much mischief. But the 
curious part of the matter was that our new eager friend living 
in those remote regions had evidently never heard that such 
an opinion had been avowed before, and imagined that a specu- 
lation which had been thrashed out for thousands of years and 
in half the languages of the world had been uttered for the 
first time by Mr. Coxe. 

He was a very honest man, however. I did not quarrel 
with his zeal, and he had produced better work than this 
pamphlet. With the help of his brother missionaries he had 
translated the Bible into Samoan, and he told us with great 
satisfaction that the natives had bought thirty thousand copies 
at two dollars apiece. Actually thirty thousand, handsomely 
bound, ' with gilt edges.' Fifteen hundred pounds he had been 
able to remit annually from this source to the parent society, 
the money and the gilt edges together being a visible evidence 
of the blessings of Christianity to the heathen. 

Doubtless it was an interesting fact, and from those Bibles 
seeds may have dropped into many a poor unknown soul, to 
make it better than it had been. But I could not help saying 
that there were other effects of conversion which would in- 



9& OCEANA 

terest me even more if he could tell me of them. The Poly- 
nesian had a bad name for idleness and unchastity was there 
any improvement in this respect? I admired his candour. 
The moral effects of religion, he said, were sometimes not very 
risible even in old-established Christian countries. The Poly- 
nesians could read. They had schools and chapels. They had 
ceased to eat one another, which was one step towards im- 
provement ; others might follow. Moral progress was always 
slow, and I must remember that the intercourse with white 
traders and sailors was a terrible counteracting influence. 
This was true and fairly put I liked the old man much more 
than I expected to do. Autumn ' gilds ere it withers,' and it 
is sometimes the same with old age. We had among the pas- 
sengers a keen Mephistophelic sort of gentleman who believed 
in nothing who, like Pistol, had used the world as his oyster 
and extracted pearls out of it sufficient to make his life flow 
easily. He had been successful in business ; he had done, and 
would continue to do, effectively and well whatever he under- 
took ; but his theory of existence evidently was that in such a 
world as this the only wisdom was to get as much enjoyment 
out of it as could be had. All else was illusion. He was ex- 
cellent company, intellectually the best that we had a cleverer 
man, beyond all comparison, than my poor missionary ; but a 
belief in something some object outside oneself, for which one 
can care and exert oneself, brings a grace into the character 
which is not to be had without it. Simplicity is more attrac- 
tive than brilliancy, and my missionary had a humour of his 
own which was often diverting. He told me that in all those 
groups of islands Samoa, the Tonga Islands, and the rest 
they had now parliamentary government, with ministers re- 
sponsible to the legislature. The result was ridiculous beyond 
belief, and even more mischievous than ridiculous. His own 
brethren had been the means of introducing the system, and 
in consequence had made their way into office and become con- 
siderable people. One of them somewhere had become a 
democratic despot a Poly crates without the genius, but with 
cunning sufficient to keep himself in power. The unfortunate 
people 1 Was it not enough that we should give them gun- 



THE SANDWICH ISLANDS 197 

powder, and gin, and measles, and smallpox, but that we must 
aend our political epidemic among them as well t It will help 
at any rate to hasten their end. 

We were to halt next at the Sandwich Islands. I had read 
Miss Bird's book about these islands, and her glowing descrip- 
tion of the burning mountain in Hawaii, the largest active 
volcano in the world. Unless we heard on arriving there that 

war was actually declared, E and three or four others of 

our party meant to stop and see it, and they urged me not to 
miss the opportunity. Whether I should stop or not depended 
on whether I felt curiosity about the inhabitants. I could be 
contented to read of lakes of melted lava without wanting to 
look at them. A lake of liquid fire is less beautiful to me 
than a lake of water. A volcano is only a late relic of the 
process by which the earth was prepared for human habitation. 
It is now merely an instrument of destruction, and the irra- 
tional forces of nature in violent action I feel distressing and 
disturbing. I prefer settled districts, where my brother 
mortals are rejoicing in the work of their hands. I therefore 
postponed my own decision till I had seen at least what Hono- 
lulu was like, where we were to stop. Queen Emma was 
there, whom we had seen in England. There was a king, and 
his parliament, and his constitutional advisers. There was a 
separate island Molokai given up to lepers, which, if not 
pleasant, might be tragical. Leprosy is fatally frequent in the 
Sandwich archipelago. They try to stamp it out by separating 
the infected from the healthy, and everyone, high or low, who 
is seized by the disorder is removed thither to remain till he 
dies. This, too, I thought, I could be content to read about ; 
but a young Catholic priest was said to be there, a Father 
Damiens (let his name be had in honour !), who had spon- 
taneously devoted his life to comforting and helping these poor 
creatures in their horrid exile. Such a man as that might be 
worth an effort to see, if a burning mountain was insufficient, 
or even the working of free political institutions. In 1779, 
Captain Cook found a population of three hundred thousand 
in these islands. At the last census there were forty-nine 
thousand. If parliamentary government ' wishes to work a 



198 OCEANA 

miracle,' as the American said when he was falling over a 
cliff, 'now ia the time.' Let it avert, if it can, the swift 
disappearance of a people who were innocent and happy and 
prosperous before the white man and his ' notions ' came among 
them. 

x Meantime I had been studying more at my leisure the 
human freight of the ' Australia.' There were all sorts among 
us, and I was sorry to have to agree more than I wished with 
my rough New Zealand Scot about the younger generation of 
the colonists. Professor Aldis'a pupils had been of the work- 
ing, industrious sort, and he thought very favourably of them. 
Those that we had on board, and there were a good many of 
them, were of the moneyed kind, who had leisure and means 
and the self-sufficiency which goes along with it. Of these 1 
liked none. They were, as a rule, vain, ignorant, underbred, 
without dignity, without courtesy, and with a conceit which 
was unbounded. Middle-class democracy is not favourable to 
the growth of manners, and, with all my wish to find it other- 
wise, I had to contrast them, not to their advantage, with two 
or three English youths among us, who, though belonging to 
the same social class, might have been another order of beings. 
They brought back to my mind a gentleman whom I had fallen 
in with somewhere, who might be taken as a type of the sort 
to whom my Scot so much objected. He had struck me not 
so much by his opinions as by the arrogance and insolence 
with which he expressed them. He belonged, I believe, to a 
great mercantile house in one of the Australian cities ; and if 
he was the representative in any sense of his contemporaries, 
the connection with the mother-country will not be of long 
continuance. Not that he wished to break it immediately. 
Australia, he told me, had a glorious destiny before it. It 
was to stand beside the United States as an equal, perhaps as 
a superior, and they two were to be the greatest countries in 
the world. Separation from the mother-country was inevit- 
able. The Australian states had too high a destiny to be kept 
long in leading strings. He and his friends, however, had no 
wish to cut them prematurely. . They would allow us, if we 
liked it, to continue a little longer to be useful to them, to 



YOUNG AUSTRALIA 299 

warn off intruding Germans, to supply them with capital, <kc., 
and to feel ourselves honoured in doing it. The blandness 
and conviction with which he delivered his sentiments would 
have been entertaining if it had not been so absurd. He was 
so satisfied with his country and himself, that if I had told 
him that we all knew how great the honour was to be the dry 
nurse to so grand a baby, how delighted we were to be their 
humble servants, he would never have suspected me of irony. 
You may venture any liberties, provided you flatter sufficiently. 
One thing only you must not do. You must not express the 
shadow of a doubt of their present and future magnificence. 
An independent Australia, with such persons as my young 
acquaintance at the head of it, would certainly have a remark- 
able future before it, though less magnificent than they count 
upon. Happily in the colonies themselves I had not met with 
many such specimens. I had been thrown chiefly among their 
elders. But they do exist and may have some influence, and 
it is by those who are now growing to manhood, and not by 
the generation which must soon pass away, that the relation 
between England and her dependencies will be eventually 
determined. Absit omen. 

After the first four days of our voyage the Pacific had 
justified its name. We had steamed regularly on, with smooth 
seas, sunny days, and starry nights. The heat, when we 
crossed the line, ceased to be oppressive. There were com- 
plaints that the vessel was slow, but we went along at an 
average of ten knots, making two hundred and forty miles a 
day. Life must be lived somewhere, and to spend a few extra 
hours between the tropics in uninterrupted quiet was not a 
hardship to be complained of. At daybreak on April 13 we 
came in sight of Honolulu. We were now in our own hemi- 
sphere and had crossed from autumn into spring. 

The Sandwich Islands, moistened with continual rains, are 
never liable to drought, and sun and showers together carpet 
plain and mountain with exquisite verdure. The substance of 
them is volcanic rock. The coral insect builds for ever along 
the shores. The rain washes down from the hills the red dust 
of the crumbling scoria, which, settling over the coral banks, 



300 OCEANA 

forms on one side a low, level plain with rich alluvial soil. 
Here grow the endless trees of the tropics, whose leaf, flower, 
and fruit renew themselves perpetually oa in the gardens of 
Alcinous. A natural harbour appears to have been formed 
by floods rushing down through a valley from the mountains, 
which have hollowed out a large, deep lagoon, have cut a way 
through the coral reef into the sea, and keep the opening clear 
with the help of the tidal scour. The depth of water is about 
six fathoms, and the oval basin is perhaps half a mile in its 
shortest, a mile in its longest diameter. 

The whole Sandwich group is under the protection of the 
Americans. Guarded by the stars and stripes, a phantom 
royalty maintains itself at Honolulu. There is a palace, an 
army (of sixty warriors), a coinage with his majesty's face 
upon it, a parliament, a prime minister, an attorney-general, 
b chancellor of the exchequer, a minister for foreign affairs ; 
how many more secretaries of state I do not know. We 
steamed in between the two natural coral piers, and brought 
up in deep water alongside the jetty. The ship was to stay 
six hours, and we all rushed on shore to feel the land under 
our feet, and to breakfast at a Yankee hotel, where we were 
promised all the luxuries which at sea are unattainable. 
Along the platform were rows of dubious-looking damsels in 
pink and blue calicoes, soliciting the passengers, with large 
swimming eyes, to buy coral sprays and tortoiseshell orna- 
ments. Escaping from these sirens, we made our way into 
the town, composed of streets of uninteresting wooden houses 
on the modern American pattern, without local characteristics 
of any kind. Telephone wires were stretched above the roofs, 
thick as spider-webs in autumn, for the transaction of the 
infinite business which these means of swift communication 
seemed to imply. Men and women were lounging languidly 
about in loose European costumes, with an evident preference 
for bright colours. Both sexes were tall, but heavily-limbed, 
flaccid, and sensual-looking. The Americans have not been 
idle. They have set up abundant schools, and if the teaching 
u equal to the professed scheme of instruction, the Sandwich 
Islanders should be the best educated people to be found any- 



HONOLULU 301 

where. No great results seem yet to have been arrived at, 
either intellectual or moral. They have a code of laws equally 
axcellent, but they do not obey them, at least in one most 
important particular ; for strong drinks are forbidden, yet are 
freely consumed, the last king dispensing with the law in hia 
own favour, the present king not being a great deal better, 
and their subjects following the example. So far as I could 
hear for my own observation was, of course, worth nothing 
there is a varnish over the place of Yankee civilisation, 
which has destroyed the natural vitality without as yet pro- 
ducing anything better or as good. To the eye of the passing 
traveller, the human aspect was uninviting; not quite as 
much so as the coaling station at the Cape de Yerde Islands, 
but approaching near to it. Miss Bird speaks warmly of the 
good nature of the people, and, being of Adam's race, they 
have probably merits of their own which would be appreciated 
on closer acquaintance ; but I was not encouraged to hope 
that they would interest me as deserving serious attention. 

Outside the streets the original loveliness of a tropical land 
reasserted itself. Palms towered up, thickly clustered with 
cocoa-nuts. Bananas waved their long broad leaves. We 
walked under flowing acacias, palmettos, bread-fruit trees, 
magnolias, and innumerable shrubs in the glowing bloom of 
.spring. A shower had fallen, and called out the perfume of 
the blossoms. Hibiscus and pomegranate crimsoned the hedges. 
Passion-flowers, bougainvillaeas, and convolvulus crept up the 
tree-stems or hung in masses on the walls. Man may be 
vulgar, but trees and flowers cannot be. Even the wooden 
boxes in which the poorer natives lived, mean and featureless 
as they might be, were redeemed from entire ugliness by the 
foliage in which they were buried, and the bits of garden sur- 
rounding them. The strangest thing was the multitude of 
telephone wires, which followed us everywhere and made a 
network against the sky. The people looked like the laziest 
in the world. The wires would indicate the busiest. I was 
told I know not how correctly as an explanation of the 
mystery, that an American speculator, with a large telephone 
stock on hand which he wanted to dispose of, induced the 



y OCEANA 

government of the Sandwich Islands to relieve him of it, by a 
promise of the miracles which it would work. 

The hotel was half a mile from the landing-place. We 
flowed on in a stream and came to it at last a big house of 
large pretensions, in a grove of trees which kept the sun off. 
A broad flight of stairs led up into a hall. From the hall we 
were taken into a vast cool saloon, or coffee-room, and there, 
under the master eye of a smart Yankee manager, the break- 
fast which we had come in search of was provided for us, and 
certainly excellent it was : fresh fish, fresh eggs, fresh butter, 
cream, rolls, fruit all the very best which could be provided 
by nature and art combined. Let admiration be given where 
it is due. When it was over we dispersed, some to drive in 
carriages into the mountains, others to examine further into 
the town. One party went to the palace to wait on the king, 
but failed to see him. His Majesty had been occupied late 
the night before and was indisposed. I wandered about the 
environs, looking at the people and their ways, and wondering 
at the nature of our Anglo-American character, which was 
spreading thus into all corners of the globe, and fashioning 
everything after its own likeness. The original, the natural, 
the picturesque, goes down before it as under the wand of a 
magician. In the place of them springs up the commonplace 
and the materially useful. Those who can adopt its worship 
and practise its liturgy, it will feed, and house, and lodge on 
the newest pattern, set them in a way of improving their con- 
dition by making money, of gaining useful knowledge, and 
enjoying themselves in tea-gardens and music-halls ; while 
those who cannot or will not bend, it sweeps away as with the 
word of the destroyer. 

The old races of the Pacific islands will soon be utterly 
obliterated. It is the nigger only who entirely prospers under 
these new conditions. As a slave he could grow into an Uncle 
Tom ; as a free citizen he carries his head as high as his late 
master, and laughs, works, and earns his wages, and enjoys 
life as becomes a man and a brother. It was predicted of him 
that he, too, when he was emancipated, would die off like the 
rest, bat he shows no sign of any such intention. The modern 



BAY Of SAN FRANCISCO 303 

system of things, whatever its defects, agrees certainly with 
the negro constitution. 

The slight disposition which I had felt to remain at Hono- 
lulu I found to have evaporated. There would be no advan- 
tage commensurate with the time which it would cost. I 
cared nothing about the volcano. Father Damiens I would 
have gladly seen, but I could be of no use to him, and no 
personal acquaintance could have increased the respect which 
I felt for him. It was with real relief that I heard the whistle 
which called us back on board, and the grinding of the revolv- 
ing screw. 

The rest of our voyage was uneventful. We had lost 

E , whose pleasant companionship had brightened so large 

a part of our expedition. We had lost Mr. Ashbury, who had 
stayed behind with him, and my entertaining Mephistophelio 
friend. We made the best of the slight compensation which 
their departure brought with it. They had ' messed ' at our 
table in the saloon. The Chinese steward, having a smaller 
number to wait upon, could attend better to such of us as 
remained. The weather cooled perceptibly when we left the 
tropics we met the keen north wind which blows almost all 
the year down the Western American coast. On April 20, 
we entered between the Heads into the Bay of San Francisco, 
and saw the smoke of the Golden City six miles in front of us. 
The opening is extremely striking the bay itself is as large 
as Port Jackson. The hills are higher, the outlines grander. 
The only inferiority is in the absence of timber. There was 
grass everywhere, in the freshness of spring, but not a tree 
that we could see from the water ; and we felt the bareness 
more strongly after New Zealand and Australia. Another 
difference made itself felt, the effect of which it was impossible 
to resist. There had been life and energy in Melbourne and 
Sydney, with crowded docks and growing enterprise ; but an 
American city and San Francisco especially is more than 
they. The very pilot's voice as he came on board had a ring 
of decision about it. The great liners passing in and out with 
the stars and stripes flying ; the huge ferry-boats rushing 
along, deck rising above deck, and black with passengers ; the 



304 OCEANA 

lines of houses on the shore, stretching leagues beyond the 
actual town, all spoke of the pulsations of a great national 
existence, which were beating to its farthest extremity. 

San Francisco, half a century ago, was a sleepy Spanish 
village. It is now one of the most important cities of the 
world, destined, if things continue as they are, to expand into 
dimensions to which the present size of it is nothing, for it is 
and must be the chief outlet into the Pacific of the trade of 
the American continent. 



CHAPTER XX. 

The American Union The Civil War and the results of it Effect of tht 
Union on the American character San Francisco Palace Hotel The 
Market The clubs Aspect of the city Califoraian temperament The 
Pacific Railway Alternative routes Start for New York Sacramento 
Valley The Sierra Nevada Indian territory Salt Lake The Mormons 
The Rocky Mountains Cafionof the Rio Grande The prairies Chicago 
New York and its wonders The 'Etmria' Fastest passage on record 
Liverpool. 

THE problem of how to combine a number of self -governed 
communities into a single commonwealth, which now lies be- 
fore Englishmen who desire to see a federation of the empire, 
has been solved, and solved completely, in the American 
Union. The bond which, at the Declaration of Independence, 
was looser than that which now connects Australia and Eng- 
land, became strengthened by time and custom. The attempt 
to break it was successfully resisted by the sword, and the 
American republic is, and is to continue, so far as reasonable 
foresight can anticipate, one and henceforth indissoluble. 

Each State is free to manage its own private affairs, to 
legislate for itself, subject to the fundamental laws of the 
Union ; and to administer its own internal government, with 
this reservation only that separation is not to be thought of. 
The right to separate was settled once for all by a civil war 
which startled the world by its magnitude, but which. *rrible 



THE AMERICAN UNION 305 

though it might be, was not disproportioned to the greatness 
of the issues which were involved. Had the South succeeded 
in winning independence, the cloth once rent would have been 
rent again. There would not have been one America, but 
many Americas. The New World would have trodden over 
again in the tracks of the old. There would have been rival 
communities, with rival constitutions, democracies passing into 
military despotisms, standing armies, intrigues and quarrels, 
and wars on wars. The completeness with which the issue 
has been accepted shows that the Americans understood the 
alternative that lay before them. That the wound so easily 
healed was a proof that they had looked the alternative in the 
face, and were satisfied vith the verdict which had been pro- 
nounced. 

And well they may be satisfied. The dimensions and value 
of any single man depend on the body of which he is a mem- 
ber. As an individual, with his horizon bounded by his per- 
sonal interests, he remains, however high his gifts, but a mean 
creature. His thoughts are small, his aims narrow ; he has 
no common concerns or common convictions which bind him 
to his fellows. He lives, he works, he wins a share small or 
great of the necessaries or luxuries which circumstances throw 
within his reach, and then he dies and there is an end of him. 
A man, on the other hand, who is more than himself, who is 
part of an institution, who has devoted himself to a cause or 
is a citizen of an imperial power expands to the scope and 
fulness of the larger organism ; and the grander the organisa- 
tion, the larger and more important the unit that knows that 
he belongs to it. His thoughts are wider, his interests less 
selfish, his ambitions ampler and nobler. As a granite block 
is to the atoms of which it is composed when disintegrated, so 
are men in organic combination to the same men only aggre- 
gated together. Each particle contracts new qualities which 
are created by the intimacy of union. Individual Jesuits are 
no more than other mortals. The Jesuits as a society are not 
mortal at all, and rule the Catholic world. Behind each 
American citizen America is standing, and he knows it, and is 
the man that he is because he knows it. The Anglo-Americans 



306 OCEANA 

divided might have fared no better than the Spanish colonies. 
The Anglo-Americans united command the respectful fear of 
all mankind, and, as Pericles said of the Athenians, each unit 
of them acts as if the fortunes of his country depended only on 
himself. A great nation makes great men ; a small nation 
makes little men. 

The Americans, as I said, have settled the matter for them- 
selves. Can we settle it for ours t It is the question for us, 
on the answer to which the complexion of our future depends. 
We, if we all please, can unite as they have united, can be 
knit together in as firm a bond, and hold the sea sceptre a* 
lords of Oceana in so firm a grasp that a world combined in 
arms would fail to wrest it from us. As the interests of 
America forbade division, so do ours forbid it. United, we 
shall all be great and strong in the greatness and strength of 
our common empire, and the British nation will have a career 
before it more glorious than our glorious past. All wise men 
know this. Tet it is called impossible, because we have taught 
ourselves to believe that there is no other reliable motive for 
nations or individuals than a narrow selfishness. With that 
conviction, of course it is impossible, and all other great things 
are impossible. We are a lost people. Faith in a high course 
is the only basis of fine and noble action. ' Believe and ye 
shall be saved,' is as true in politics as in religion, and belief 
in the superior principle of our corporate life is itself its own 
realisation. Let it be understood among us, as it is among 
the Americans, that we are one though the bond be but a 
spiritual one that separation is treason, and the suggestion 
of it misprision of treason, and all is done. Divorce between 
husband and wife is always a possibility, for divorce is a con- 
sequence of sin, and men and women are all liable to sin ; but 
a married pair do not contemplate divorce, or speak of it or 
make preparation for it, either when they begin their lives 
together, or tread through their daily round of duties and en- 
joyments side by side. Talked of and debated, it is already on 
its way to realisation ; and a family would be fit for an asylum 
of idiots where the rending of natural ties was a permitted 
nibject of thought or conversation. Let it be the same in 



SAN FRANCISCO yyj 

Oceana. Let separation be dismissed into silence as a horrible 
thing, ' not to be named among us,' and the union is already 
made, and the form or forms which it may assume may be left 
tt time and circumstance to shape and reshape. Nature could 
make no organic thing not a plant, not a flower, not a man 
if she began with the form. She begins with the life in the 
seed, which she leaves to work ; and what the life is in natural 
objects, the will and determination is in the arrangements of 
human society. 

Feelings of this kind rise in every Englishman when he 
sets foot on American soil something of envy, but more of 
pride, and more still of admiration. The Americans are the 
English reproduced in a new sphere. What they have done, 
we can do. The Americans are a generation before us in the 
growth of democracy, and events have proved that democracy 
does not mean disunion. 

I had already seen the Eastern States, but California was 
new to me. California with its gold and its cornfields, its 
conifers and its grizzlies, its diggers and its hidalgos, its 
' heathen Chinese ' and its Yankee millionaires, was a land of 
romance the wonders of which passed belief, and it was with 
a sort of youthful excitement that I found myself landed at 
1 Frisco.' The prosaic asserted itself there as elsewhere. 
There were customs officers and a searching of portmanteaus. 
This over, we had to find our quarters. We were on a long 
platform, roofed over like a railway station, and within the 
precincts the public were not admitted. At the far end was a 
large open door, and outside a mob of human creatures, push- 
ing, scrambling, and howling like the beasts in a menagerie at 
feeding time. There they were in hundreds waiting to plunge 
upon us, and (if they did not tear us in pieces in the process) 
to carry us off to one or other of the rival caravanserais. 
Never did I hear such a noise, save in an Irish fair ; never 
was I in such a scuffle. We had to fight for our lives, for our 
luggage, and for our dollars, if the Philistines were not to 
spoil us utterly All, however, was at last safely and reason 
ably accomplished We were driven away to the Palace 



)o8 OCEANA 

Hotel, where the storm turned to calm, and my acquaintance 
with California and its ways was practically to commence. 

The Palace Hotel at San Francisco is, I believe, the 
largest in the world the largest, but by no means the ugliest, 
as I had expected to find. It is a vast quadrilateral building, 
seven or eight stories high, but in fair proportions. You enter 
under a handsome archway, and you find yourself in a central 
court, as in the hotels at Paris, but completely roofed over 
with glass. The floor is of polished stone. Tiers of galleries 
run round it, tier above tier, and two lifts are in constant 
action, which deposit you on the floor to which you are con- 
signed. There is no gaudiness or tinsel. The taste in Cali- 
fornia is generally superior to what you see in New York. I 
expected the prices of New York, or of Auckland or Sydney. 
Money was reported to flow in rivers there, and other things 
to be dear in proportion. I was agreeably disappointed. Our 
apartments mine and my son's consisted of a sitting-room 
au troisieme, so large that a bed in it was no inconvenience ; 
a deep alcove with another bed, divided off by glass doors ; 
a dressing-room and a bath-room, with the other accompani- 
ments. Our meals were in the great dining-room at fixed 
hours, but with a liberal time allowance. We could order our 
dinners and breakfasts from the carte, with as large a choice 
and quality as excellent as one could order in the Palais Royal 
if one was regardless of expense. Unnumbered niggers at- 
tended in full dress white waistcoat, white neckcloth, with 
the consequentially deferential manners of a duke's master of 
the household ; and for all this sumptuosity we were charged 
three dollars and a half each, or about fifteen shillings. No- 
where in Europe, nowhere else in America, can one be lodged 
and provided for on such a scale and on such terms and this 
was' California. 

The interviewers fell early upon me, but they were good- 
natured and not too idly curious, and on this occasion they 
had a reasonable excuse. A month had gone since our last 
news from England. War had not yet broken out, but there 
had been the fight at Penjdeh, and a peaceful settlement was 
supposed to be all but impossible. Thy wanted to know 



OPINIONS ON A RUSSIAN WAR 309 

what 1 thought about it all. I told them that there was no 
occasion for a war, that my countrymen were reasonable 
people, and that I could not believe that they would go in for 
such a thing without stronger justification ; but others, I said, 
thought differently and I might easily be mistaken, and I 
asked in turn what was the feeling in America. I found that 
Americans were taking a practical view of the thing were 
considering how, if war broke out, they could recover the 
carrying trade, and how fast an Act could be hurried through 
Congress permitting foreign vessels to be sailed under the 
American flag. Apart from this, opinion was divided. There 
was good-will to the old country, and a hope that she would 
come well out of the scrape. There was a recollection also 
that Russia was the only European Power which had shown 
good-will to the North in the Civil War, and they were still 
grateful. The prevailing sentiment was that war ought to be 
avoided ; that if it came, both sides would be to blame ; and 
there was no enthusiasm for either. 

I was myself deluged with advices where I was to go in the 
State, and what I was to see. Especially, and with ' damnable 
iteration,' I was warned that I must in no case leave it with- 
out visiting the big trees and the Yosemite Valley. I had 
seen even bigger trees in Victoria. I avoid always, when I 
can, going of set purpose to see sights of any kind. I can 
admire beautiful objects when they come upon me in the 
natural order of things, but I cannot command the proper 
emotions wh/en I go deliberately in search of them. This 
Yosemite Valley was so battered into my ears that I grew im- 
patient, and said that I would rather go a thousand miles to 
talk to one sensible man, than walk to the end of the street 
for the finest view in America a speech which was to cost me 
dear, for it appeared in print the next morning, and one 
gentleman after another came up and said : ' Sir, encouraged 
by words of yours which I have just read,' <fec., ' I venture to 
introduce myself ; ' whether he was the sensible man, or I was 
the sensible man, being left uncertain. 

But to return to the Golden City. Americans are very 
good to strangers, and the Californians are in this respect the 

T2 



3io OCEANA 

best of Americans. An agreeable and accomplished Mr. G , 

who had come from New Zealand with us, lived in San Fran- 
cisco. He was kind enough to take me in charge, and show 
me, not trees and rocks, but things and people. The Chinese 
quarter is to Englishmen the principal object of attraction. 
They go there at night under a guard of police, for it is lawless 
and dangerous. Had I known any of the Chinese themselves, 
who would have shown me the better side of them, I should 
have been willing to go. But I did not care to go among 
human beings as if they were wild beasts, and stare at opium 
orgies and gambling-hells. Parties of us did go, and they 

said they were delighted. I went with Mr. G about the 

streets. The first place I look for in a new city is the market. 
One sees the natural produce of all kinds gathered there. One 
sees what people buy on the spot and ' consume on the pre- 
mises,' as distinct from what is raised for export. One learns 
the cost of things, and can form one's own estimate of the 
manner in which the country people occupy themselves, and 
how they are able to live. The market-place in San Francisco 
told its story in a moment. Vegetables and fruits, the finest 
that I ever saw exposed for sale, were at half the English 
prices. Meat was at half the English price. I lunched on 
oysters, plump and delicate as the meal-fattened Colchester 
natives used to be, at a cent (a halfpenny) apiece. Salmon 
were lying out on the marble slabs, caught within two hours 
in the Sacramento River, superb as ever came from Tay or 
Tweed, for three cents a pound. 

From the market we went to the clubs, where the men 
would be found who were carrying on the business of this late- 
born but immense emporium bankers, merchants, politicians. 
The Eastern question, the Egyptian business, dec., were dis- 
cussed in the cool incisive American manner, and the opinions 
expressed were not favourable to our existing methods of 
administration. How we had come to fall into such a state of 
distraction seemed to be understood with some distinctness, 
but less distinctly how we were to get out of it. In the 
Bohemian Club the tone was lighter and brighter. We do not 
live for politics alone, nor for business alone. The Bohemian 



SAN FRANCISCO 311 

Club, was founded, I believe, by Bret Harte, and is composed 
of lawyers, artists, poets, musicians, men of genius, who in the 
sunshine and exuberant fertility of California, were brighter, 
quicker, and less bitterly in earnest than their severe fellow- 
countrymen of the Eastern States. It was the American 
temperament, but with a difference. Dollars, perhaps, are 
easily come by in that happy country, and men think less of 
<toem, and more of human life, and how it can best be spent 
>nd enjoyed. If Horace were brought to life again in the 
New World, he would look for a farm in California and be a 
leading Bohemian. The pictures in the drawing-room, painted 
by one or other of themselves, had all something new and 
original about them, reminding me of Harte's writings. In 
the summer weather the club takes to tents, migrates to the 
forest, and holds high jinks in Dionysic fashion. There was a 
clever sketch of one of these festivals in the abandonment of 
intellectual riot. It is likely enough that some original school 
of American art may start up in California. Their presiding 
genius at the club is Pallas Athene in the shape of an owl ; 
but, for some reason which they could not, or would not, 
explain to me, she has one eye shut. 

The city generally is like other American cities. It has 
grown like a mushroom, and there has been no leisure to build 
anything durable or beautiful. A few years ago the houses 
were mainly of wood. The footways in the streets are laid 
with boards still, but are gradually transforming themselves. 
The sense of beauty will come by-and-by, and they do well not 
to be in a hurry. The millionaires have constructed palatial 
residences for themselves on the high grounds above the smoke. 
The country towards the ocean is taken charge of by the 
municipality. A fine park has been laid out, with forcing 
houses, gardens and carriage-drives. Near it is a cemetery, 
beside which ours at Brompton would look vulgar and hideous. 
Let me say here, that nowhere in America have I met with 
vulgarity in its proper sense. Vulgarity lies in manners 
unsuited to the condition of life to which you belong. A lady 
is vulgar when she has the manners of a kitchen maid, the 
kitchen moid is vulgar when she affects the manners of a lady, 



3" OCEANA 

Neither ia vulgar so long as she is contented to be herself. In 
America there is no difference of ' station,' and therefore every- 
one is satisfied with his own and has no occasion to affect any- 
thing. There is a dislike of makeshifts in the Californians. 
Greenbacks and shin-plasters have no currency among them. 
If you go for money to a bank at San Francisco, they give 
you, instead of dirty paper, massive gold twenty-dollar pieces, 
large and heavy as medals, and so handsome that one is un- 
willing to break them. They are never in haste, and there is 
a composure about them which seems to say that they belong to 
a great nation and that their position is assured. I observed at 
San Francisco, and I have observed elsewhere in America, that 
they have not the sporting taste so universal in England. 
They shoot their bears, they shoot their deer, in the way of 
business, as they make their pigs into bacon ; but they can 
see a strange bird or a strange animal without wishing imme- 
diately to kill it. Indeed, killing for its own sake, or even 
killing for purpose of idle ornament, does not seem to give 
them particular pleasure. The great harbour swarms with 
Beak ; you see them lifting their black faces to stare at the pass- 
ing steamers, as if they knew that they were in no danger of 
being molested. There is a rock in the ocean close to the 
shore, seven miles from the city. The seals lie about it in 
hundreds, and roll and bark and take life as pleasantly as the 
crowds who gather on holidays to look at them. No one ever 
hoots at these harmless creatures. Men and seals can live at 
peace side by side in California. I doubt if as much could be 
aid of any British possession in the world. Perhaps killing is 
an aristocratic instinct, which the rest imitate, and democracy 
may by-and-by make a difference. 

In short, California is a pleasant country with good people 
in it. If one had to live one's life over again, one might do 
worse than make one's home there. For a poor man it is 
better than even Victoria and New South Wales, for not the 
necessaries of life only are cheap there, but the best of it* 
luxuries. The grapes are like the clusters of Eshcol. The 
wine, already palatable, is on the way to becoming admirable 
and ai accessible to a light purse as it used to be in Spain. I 



THE PACIFIC RAILWAY 313 

ate there the only really good oranges which I have tasted for 
many years good as those which we used to get before the 
orange-growers went in for average sorts and heavy bearers, 
and the greatest happiness of the greatest number. 

When everything of every sort that one meets with, even 
down to the nigger waiter at the hotel, is excellent in its kind, 
one may feel pretty well satisfied that the morality, <fcc., is in 
good condition also. All our worst vices nowadays grow out 
of humbug. 

This was the impression which California left on me during 
my brief passage through it. Had I stayed longer, I should, 
of course, have found much to add of a less pleasant kind, 
and something to correct. Life everywhere is like tapestry- 
work the outside only is meant to be seen, the loose tags and 
ends of thread are left hanging on the inner face. I describe 
it as it looked to me, and I was sorry when the time came for 
me to be again on the move. 

We were to cross the continent by the Pacific Railway a 
journey, if one keeps on at it, of seven days and seven nights 
from San Francisco to New York. One can break it and 
one is advised to break it if one wishes to arrive sane in mind 
and body at Salt Lake City, at Chicago, or at both. 

The original trunk line has thrown out lateral branches, 
which strike north or south, and sweep through vast ranges of 
new country, rejoining the principal stem east of the Missis- 
sippi. Trains through to New York run on all these divisions. 
There are rival companies, and the agent of each assures you 
that his line is the shortest, cheapest, easiest, and most in- 
teresting. He produces his maps to prove it to you, where 
his own line, which may in reality be sinuous as the track of 
a snake, is represented as if drawn by a ruler, and his adver- 
saries' line, which may be straight as Euclid's definition, is bent 
into a right angle. Even in San Francisco it appeared that 
people could lie to some, and indeed to a considerable, extent. 
I could only hope that these agents were not Californian 
bred, but an imported article. The trunk line, however, went 
singly as far as Ogden, on the edge of the Great Salt Lake, 
and proceeded thence north-east through Omaha to Chicago, 



)I4 OCEANA 

Anothsr line branched off south at Ogdeu, went through the 
Mormon city and the territory of Utah, crossed the Rooky 
Mountains, and descended by the Rio Grande to Denver ; 
thence tuuiing back northward again, it rejoined the main line 
*t the Pacific Junction. Whether this line was, as the agents 
insisted, the shorter of the two, might or might not be true. 
But it was reported to be the most picturesque, the engineer- 
ing in the Rio Grande Canon to be a triumph of mechanical 
genius, lire., while it would give us a chance of seeing what the 
famous Mormons were doing, not on a single spot, but in the 
wide territory over which they were now spreading. We decided, 
therefore, for the line of the Rio Grande and the Cafion, and 
made our preparations accordingly. 

The accommodation on all the routes is the same. The 
carriages are long, high, and spacious, ventilated well from 
the top, and warmed with stoves in cold weather. Each of 
them has minor compartments at both ends at one a washing- 
room and smoking-room for the men ; at the other, a dressing- 
room for ladies. The beds stretch along the sides in two 
tiers. The upper tier folds up in the daytime, and is let 
down at night. The under tier is formed by an ingenious 
rearrangement of the ordinary seats. The berths so contrived 
are nearly three feet wide, and are as comfortable as could in 
reason be expected, and each pair has a heavy leather curtain 
hung in front of them. At night, when man and woman has 
retired to his den and hers, you see only a long narrow passage 
between leather walls, well lighted by lamps, up and down 
which the black sentinels of the train slowly parade. When 
the first sensation of novelty is over, sleep will act like its 
capricious self, which comes when least expected, and stays as 
it chooses, irrespective of circumstances. Over part of the 
line there is a special feeding carriage, where one can break- 
fast and dine as in an hotel ; over the rest, the trains halt for 
meals three times a day, with other pauses of ten minutes 
every fifty or sixty miles ; and thus the 6,000 miles of journey 
are got over very tolerably by those who are used to it. 
Those who are not used to it are warned to take a rest at 
intervals. 



THE PACIFIC RAILWAY 315 

The starting-point is some miles distant from San Francisco, 
on the far side of a wide arm of the bay. We crossed over in 
a steamer crowded with passengers. Two large trains were 
to start at the same hour one east, which was to be our* ; 
another to Lower California and the south, which ought to 
have been ours had I obeyed orders and gone to the Yosemite 
Valley. 

We found our places, not without difficulty ; our tickets 
were wrongly numbered ; we were ejected from our seats, after 
we had started, by other claimants, and we had to be moved 
into another carriage ; but the change was managed without 
stopping the train. The American carriages open at each 
end with a platform outside, and you can walk from one to 
the other. Everybody is very civil on such occasions, but you 
have to conform to regulations, though you are in a land of 
liberty. 

X All was right at last, and we settled down into our corners 
and looked about us. There were no empty places, all seats 
were full, and many of them were occupied by fellow-pas- 
sengers from the ' Australia.' Boys passed incessantly to and 
fro in the train, with trays of books, newspapers, fruits,, cakes, 
or sweetmeats, of which the Americans seem inordinately 
fond. The windows were open, and outside them was a 
beautiful sunny afternoon, warm as in an English June. The 
railway followed the course of a broad deep river, crossing 
and recrossing it, among rich meadows, farms, orchards, and 
those boundless Californian wheat-fields which are bringing 
ruin on the English landed interest. The wheat was in the 
blade, and brilliantly green. The fruit-trees were in blossom, 
and the vines in full leaf ; and the same aspect of luxuriant 
fertility continued till we had passed Sacramento City, and 
night fell and the stars came out, and we began slowly to 
ascend the slope of the mountain barrier which divides 
California from the rest of the world. 

We stood out long on the platform, watching the change of 
landscape into rock and forest. The air at last grew chilly. 
We climbed into our roosting- places, and we woke at daybreak 
sight thousand feet above the sea, on the crest of the Sierra 



316 OCEANA 

Nevada. We could see little. For thirty miles we were in 
an almost continuous gallery of snow-sheds, through the chinks 
of which gleams of daylight shone like electric sparks. At the 
rare openings we perceived that we were among mountain 
ridges black with pines, the stems of which were buried in 
snow, while the high peaks over our heads were wrapped in a 
white winding-sheet. The long tunnel ended when we passed 
the watershed.VThence, skirting magnificent ravines, and fol- 
lowing a torrent which ran down out of a lake in the Sierra, 
we descended about three thousand feet to a solitary station, 
where we stopped for breakfast. All was desolate. One 
notable thing only we observed there trout (which we took 
for salmon) twenty, pounds in weight, bred in the lake and 
caught all down the river, the fish taken out of it being worth 
more, I was told, than the produce of the best ranches on its 
banks. 

Leaving this, we struck across the great American desert, 
Indian territory, a boundless plain stretching for six hundred 
miles, nothing growing there save a miserable scanty scrub, at 
if on a soil that was sown with salt. It is left, I suppose, to 
the Redskins, because no white man could make a living there. 
We saw some of the descendants of the ancient red warriors 
when we halted to water the engines. The women brought 
their papooses in little box-cradles, swathed like Egyptian 
mummies ; the men dangling after them, and all begging. 
The passengers flung them a few cents. Here, too, the contact 
with civilisation had done its universal work. These poor 
wretches, who seemed less human, because less savage, than 
the African bushmen, were the last representatives of Cooper's 
Uncas and Chingachgook. All that day we travelled on in 
wearisome monotony ; no sign of life anywhere save a blue 
rabbit, which sat staring at the train ; two or three small 
creatures slipping behind bushes, which might be prairie dogs', 
on the wing nothing, except when we passed a long solitary 
marsh pool, half covered with green reeds, where half a dozen 
large white birds were sailing slowly over the water ; cranes 
or swans, I know not which, but with the swan's grand regal 
weep. The second night closed in, and we were still in the 



GREAT SALT LAKE 317 

vnlderness. Telegraph wires, however, kept us company, and 
just at dark a newsboy dashed in with sheets fresh from a 
wayside press, and the morning's message from London. 
'Guess you're going to fight,' he said to me, with a mixture of 
contempt and entertainment. 

In the morning we were at Ogden, a rising town at the 
north end of the Great Salt Lake, forty miles from Brigham 
Young's City of the Saints. Brigham is now dead. His wives 
are scattered, his place is filled by a new vicar of the Almighty, 
but the evangel is believed as vigorously as ever. The lake 
itself is a great inland sea, salter than the ocean, seventy miles 
long and five thousand feet above the ocean-level. It is en- 
tirely surrounded by mountains, the peaks, though it was the 
end of April, covered far down with snow, the base of them a 
rich, deep violet, and the water a greenish-blue. The scene 
was beautiful, even to us who were fresh from New Zealand. 
Flights of gulls were hovering about, brought thither by fish 
of some kind ; but how fish came there which gulls would eat, 
and what manner of fish they might be, neither guide-book 
nor American fellow-travellers could tell us. 

They were all talking about the Mormons, however ; and 
the problem of what was to be done with them e**<rcised the 
American mind much. For the Mormons are prospering ; 
rising up like a kite in the wind's eye and in the teeth of 
modern enlightenment. They have spread through the whole 
territory of Utah, and are flowing over into the adjoining 
states. The peculiar institution is going along with them, 
and in greater favour than ever, being fast rooted in the 
superstition and sanctioned specially by a new revelation, so 
that all right-minded Americans are as conscious of the scandal 
as they used to be about slavery. The polygamy is not, as 
I had supposed, universal. It is a prerogative allowed by the 
Almighty to a few only of the holiest elders, and the women 
prefer, it seems, a share in the favours of one sanctified old 
gentleman to a partnership, however attractive otherwise, with 
a single husband, because an elder's wives will take precedence 
of all other ladies in Paradise. A decree has been obtained 
at last from the Supreme Court of the United States, 



jiS OCEANA 

declaring a polygaroist incapable of holding office, and poly 
gamy itself a criminal offence. My companions assured me 
with emphasis that it would be acted on, and that an abomina- 
tion as bad as slavery, or worse, would now be put down with 
a high hand. But the Mormons have not threatened to secede 
from the Union, and as long as the wives are satisfied and 
enter the elders' harems of their own free will, it is not easy, 
Sa a country which boasts of the individual freedom which it 
allows to everyone, to interfere by force. The Mormons, it is 
said, would resist desperately, and another civil war would be 
a disgrace, almost as great as the institution itself. Moderate 
people would prefer to wait till the Gentiles, of whom many 
are now settled on the Salt Lake, obtain a majority, when a 
custom out of harmony with the age, they consider, will die of 
itself. Joe Smith murdered proved more formidable than a Joe 
Smith left alive to get drunk and prophesy would ever have 
been, and the lesson has not been forgotten. 

The line from Ogden to Denver passed directly through the 
sacred city. As we approached, some stranger put in my hands 
a book of the latest revelations, modelled by Mormon intellect 
on the pattern of the Old Testament : ' I say unto thee, Joseph 
Smith Junior, my servant, I am the Lord, stand up and hear 
me. Behold, I send thee to my people to say unto them ' 
and then follows some new order about the elders' wives. 

The idea of the buried gold plates on which Joe Smith the 
First declared that he found the first book, was borrowed from 
Lucian, whose false Prophet of Galatia pretended to have dug 
up plates near Byzantium on which were written the revela- 
tions of Apollo. How Joe Smith knew anything about Lucian 
is another mystery, but the whole thing is an extraordinary 
paradox. Not spiritualism, not table-rapping or planchette- 
writing, exceed Mormonism in apparent absurdity. Yet 
hundreds of thousands of men and *omen believe in it as a 
new communication sent from heaven, and as is far more 
strange in worldly wisdom, in practical understanding, in 
industry, patience, and all the minor virtues which command 
success in life, neither America nor our own colonies can pro- 
duce superiors to them The plain of the Salt Lake, when 



THE MORMONS 319 

Brigham Toung halted his caravans there after the pilgrimage 
through the desert, was bare as the shores of the Dead Sea. 
From the Snow Mountains and from the Sweet Lake of Utah 
they brought fertilising streams of fresh water and poured it 
over the soil. They fenced and drained, they ploughed and 
sowed, they built and planted ; and now literally the wilder- 
ness is made to blossom like the rose. Our train ran on 
among orchards of peach and almond, pink with the early 
blossoms. The fields, far as one could see, were cleanly 
and completely cultivated, and green with the promise of 
abundant harvests. Cattle, sheep, and horses were grazing in 
hundreds. The houses were neat and well constructed, each 
with a well-kept garden round it. Place and people formed a 
perfect model of a thriving industrial settlement, and all this 
had grown in a single generation from what, to human intelli- 
gence, is the wildest absurdity, initiated by deliberate fraud. 
One can only conclude that man is himself a very absurd 
creature. 

I did not care to observe Mormonism any closer. We 
remained half an hour at the city station. We saw at a 
distance the famous tabernacle, like a huge turtle-shell, 
'with the finest organ in the world.' We went on leaving 
the New Jerusalem behind us, but not the proselytes of the 
faith. For hundreds of miles we saw the fruits of the new- 
est ' religion ' in the plantations, in the careful husbandry, in 
the wholesome and substantial aspect of the farms and dwell- 
ing-houses. At Utah, where we dined, I supposed myself to 
have fallen into actual contact with the peculiar institution 
itself. The room prepared for us was neat and nice, and the 
food admirable. Behind a desk sat the master of the esta- 
blishment, a middle-aged man in spectacles, with serious 
aspect. We were waited upon by two innocent-looking 
extremely pretty girls. I concluded that here was an elder 
in person, and that these were two of his wives, and I looked 
at him with repressed indignation It was an illustration of 
how unjust we may be with the best intentions. 1 learnt, on 
inquiry, that the poor man was a Gentile of exceptionally 



320 OCEANA 

high character, and that the two young ladies were his 
daughters. 

After Utah the Rocky Mountains were before us, and we 
began to ascend. Up and up we went, following rivers, 
through valley and canon and scenery more magnificent 
every hour. The snow lay deeper as we rose, till in the 
drifts the tops of the pines were almost buried. The torrents 
were in their glory, for the sun was gathering power, and 
the thaw of the spring had commenced. We zigzagged along 
the mountain-sides, drawn now by three powerful engines. 
We crossed ravines at their heads, and doubled back at higher 
levels, seeing far below us the line over which we had passed. 
At the highest point we were eleven thousand feet above the 
sea. There, as a crowning triumph, the rock was tunnelled. 
The sides of the tunnel, were sheeted with ice, and icicles 
hung from the roof ; but even at that height they were 
melting and the temperature was several degrees above 
freezing-point. We went down as we had come up, through 
scenery geologically different, but equally wild and pic- 
turesque. Finally we entered the famous canon of the 
Rio Grande, from which the line takes its name a deep 
chasm, at one point not more than ninety feet across, the 
walls always precipitous and sometimes perpendicular, be- 
tween which the river rushes along for thirty miles. To 
have carried a railway down such a place is counted as an 
engineering achievement. The rock on the left bank has 
been blown out by dynamite, to form a level on which the 
rails are laid. At one point a branch of the canon itself is 
crossed by a bridge, the iron pillars of which are driven into 
the cliff on either side. 

The journey, in spite of scenery, might have become 
tedious, but it was enlivened by a few small incidents. A 
little serves to amuse on such occasions. American ladies 
ind gentlemen came and went at different stages. They came 
in one day and left us the next, or the day after. Our berths 
were so closely packed that we heard, in spite of ourselves, 
what was passing behind our neighbours' curtains. A young 
husband was reported to me to have mid to hin young wife ai 



RAILWAY TRAVELLING IN AMERICA 321 

they were dressing (it was at a time when a dining car waa 
attached and breakfasts could be ordered on board), 'My dear, 
do yon feel like eggs this morning f ' 

Among the friends who had come with us from Auckland 

was an English gentleman, Colonel ; high-bred, refined 

perhaps extra-refined whom the malice of fortune played a 
trick upon. Happily, with his other good qualities, he had a 
keen sense of humour, and enjoyed what befell him as much 
as we did. At some town where we stopped late one night, 
two ladies had been put into the carriage with us. We were 
going to bed, and paid no ttention to them. The berth under 

Colonel happened to be vacant. To one of these new 

arrivals, without his being aware of it, this berth was assigned 
as a sleeping place. The lady gathered herself in, and the 
same leather curtain fell over them both. In the morning, the 
Colonel, feeling about for his under garments, dropped his 
drawers by accident over the side of his bed. From below he 
saw thrust out a small, dainty, and perfectly white hand, with 
a diamond ring, and a delicate lace frill round the wrist. It 
was holding up the article in question, and a brisk, ringing 
voice said, ' Guess this belongs to you.' 

The railway officials are considerate beyond English or 
European experience. In the train, as they had made it up at 
Denver, it was found that there was not room for all of us 
who had sleeping tickets, and they stopped the express at a 
siding for nearly two hours, while they sent back for another 
carriage. Beyond Denver we crossed the great prairies, where 
seven years ago the wild buffalo were feeding in thousands. 
Now there was not a hoof-mark on the soil. So far as we 
could see from the line, the land was fenced in on either side. 
It had been under the plough, and was broken up into farms. 
I had imagined that a boundless and treeless plain, with infi- 
nite capacity for wheat-growing, could never be a home in the 
old-fashioned sense of the word ; and I had considered men- 
tally what childhood must be in such a country, and what kind 
of romance boys and girls could find there ; but human souls 
carry their romance in themselves, and the Wild West at ita 



M OCEANA 

worst may be a fitter place for a family to grow in than 
raburb of London or Birmingham. 

Yet dreary the prairies are, and indeed moat American 
scenery is dreary after you have passed the Rocky Mountains. 
Man has done nothing to give it any human features. He has 
developed the productiveness of the earth. He has built 
mushroom towns upon it, and overspread it with 9. meshwork 
of railways. But man does not live by bread alone, and there 
was little grand that I could see in this journey, or indeed 
have ever seen (with one or two exceptions) anywhere in the 
United States, except the indomitable energy of the Americans 
themselves. I found only a lightly undulating country, 
generally open and untimbered, reclaimed and cultivated, and 
bearing crops at harvest time ; but crops sown and reaped by 
machines, and at intervals the contractor-built congregations 
of streets of brick and corrugated iron, called towns or cities, 
which have made hideous so much of our own England. 
Picturesqueness of nature, grace or dignity, in the works of 
man are alike absent. The forest trees are small and insigni- 
ficant. I speak of the east of the Rocky Mountains. The 
rivers ! Yes, the Missouri and the Mississippi are grand 
rivers, if bigness makes grandeur. The mighty volume of 
their waters rolls on, carrying with it the rainfall of an enor- 
mous continent ; but their turbid and yellow streams, fringed 
with unwholesome pine-swamps, suggest only to the imagina- 
tion that they are gigantic drains. It was the end of April, 
almost May, when I passed through, yet winter had not 
relaxed its bitter grasp. I had not seen a green leaf, scarcely 
a green blade of grass, since we left the Salt Lake. It must 
be with the Eastern and Middle States as they say of Castile, 
nueve mesea del Invierno y tren del Inficrno (nine months of 
winter and three of hell). Winter is long and harsh : summer 
is brief and burning. Perhaps my impressions were coloured 
by the contrast with the colonies which I had left. California 
is lovely, as Australia or New Zealand; but omitting California, 
which never belonged to us, I could not help saying to myself, 
that although Oceana no longer included the American pro 



CHICAGO 323 

vinces, she had yet within the circuit of her empire the 
fairest portion of the late discovered world. 

The Northern States of the Union have produced men. 
Finer men are to be found nowhere upon the earth. But they 
work as they do because work alone can make life tolerable ou 
such a soil and in such a climate. The sense of sunny enjoy- 
ment is not in them. They feel the dignity of freedom, and 
the worthiness of moral virtue. But of beauty the sense is 
latent, if it exists at all. Let the Britisher take heart. The 
race will vary its type according to the home in which it ia 
planted. The Australian, the New Zealander, the Californian 
will have as much in them, after all, of the ancient ' Merry 
England ' as the severely earnest Northern American, who re- 
mains a Puritan at the bottom of his heart, though in modern 
shape. 

At Chicago, the last and most triumphant of his achieve- 
ments, we stayed a night to rest, in a 'monstrous hotel in a 
monstrous city monstrous, for it has no organic frame. It 
grows by accretions, as coral grows house upon house, street 
upon street. Through Chicago passes the trade of the Lakes 
and the trade of the great West. The more wheat comes out 
of the soil and the bigger the litters of pigs, the larger grows 
Chicago the highest example in the present world of the 
tendency of modern men to cluster into towns. The site of it 
is low and flat. The shores of the lake on which it stands are 
low all round, and we shivered as we were looking at the docks 
in the nipping wind which blew across from Canada. The 
city is impressive from its vastness, as the American rivers 
are impressive ; one street, I was told, was many miles long. 
The stores are gigantic ; the shops, <fcc., are large, and as if 
struggling to be larger, from the amount of business going on 
in them. If a house is placed inconveniently, they lift it on 
rollers and move it bodily from one spot to another, while the 
occupants sleep and eat and go on with their employments as 
if nothing was happening. I myself saw a mansion travelling 
in this way without the help of an Aladdin's lamp. To 
strangers, especially British strangers, the attractive sight 
in Chicago is the pig-killing. Five thousand pigs in a day, I 

z 



324 OCEANA 

believe, are despatched, cut up, and made into hams and bacon 
ready for packing. For myself, I had no curiosity to see pigs 
killed, nor, indeed, much for Chicago itself, beyond what a 
walk would satisfy, for towns of this kind are like the article! 
in which they deal one part is just like another ; you examine 
a sample and you multiply this by the dimensions. 

From Chicago we went on to Buffalo. I had thought of 
crossing into Canada, but the cold frightened me, just arrived, 
as I was, out of the lands of the sun. In Canada there is no 
spring, and summer was still far off. When I looked at Lake 
Erie I thought a gale must be blowing over it, from the line 
of what appeared to be breakers along the southern shore ; 
but I found the breakers were breakers of ice huge hills of 
ice driven in upon the shallows and piled one upon the other. 
Nor did I think that a visit to the Dominion would help me 
much in the matter which I had chiefly at heart. There the 
colonial problem is complicated by the near neighbourhood of 
our powerful kinsmen, who will expect a voice in any future 
arrangement, and whom the Canadians will properly consider 
before any arrangements can be consented to. In no part of 
the Empire is there a warmer loyalty towards its sovereign, or 
a warmer value for the connection with Great Britain, than 
in the Canadian Dominion. There is no thought of annexa- 
tion with the United States, nor do the Americans desire it. 
They are content that their neighbours shall remain a self- 
governed community with institutions analogous to their own. 
Hitherto, perhaps, they will not have looked favourably on a* 
close a federation of the Canadians with the mother-country 
as that which binds their own Union. It is possible, it is 
probable, that as the people become supreme among ourselves, 
our relations with the Americans will become more and more 
intimate. The link which holds us together is the community 
of race and character ; and when the direction of affairs in 
both countries is in the hands of the same class, differenoee 
and jealousies will dissolve of themselves. Any way the 
Canadas, with their splendid marine, their hardy breed of sea- 
men and fishermen, their territory stretching from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, their share in a glorious chapter of English 



CANADA AND THE COLONIAL PROBLEM 335 

history, will not be the least brilliant of the jewels in the 
crown of Oceana. The Cauadas are part of us as much as 
Australia and New Zealand, and will not cut themselves 
adrift while the mother-country continues to deserve their 
honour and attachment ; but their relations with us and with 
the great power at their side form a separate problem, which 
need not be considered in a general survey of the Colonial 
question. They are without adequate naval defences. They 
depend on us for the protection of their harbours and shipping 
in time of war, and I have been told, by those who ought to 
know, that they would agree cheerfully to contribute a subsidy, 
in common with the other colonies, to the Imperial Navy. It 
is possible, on the other hand, that they may say that they do 
not need any naval defence, being sufficiently protected by 
their neighbours. The Americans have no war-fleet, being 
safe in the notoriety of their strength. An attack on Canada 
by a nation at war with Great Britain would, undoubtedly, 
provoke American interference ; and with so formidable a 
bulwark close to them, the Canadians might decline to 
give their money for a purpose which they might think 
unnecessary. 

Any way I did not find it essential to go at that time to 
Canada. If I went at all, it might be at a more convenient 
season, when colonial federation had become if it ever is to 
become a question of practical politics ; when it had been 
1 read a first time ' by public opinion, and it would be possible 
to enter into details. 

Thus, I decided to go on at once to New York. Buffalo 
had no attractions ; I shiver now at the thought of it. There 
may be seasons in the year when the ' Buffalo gals ' ' come out 
at night and dance on the green,' and then it may be pleasant 
enough ; but not at the beginning of an icy May. I did not 
even turn aside, though it would have cost but three or four 
hours, to see Niagara. The ' finest waterfall in the world ' 
becomes uninteresting when the rocks about it are painted in 
gigantic letters with advertisements of the last quack medicine 
or the latest literary prodigy. Moreover, much nonsense is 

talked about the thing itself. I was staying at the house of 

z2 



336 OCEANA 

an American friend at no great distance from it, a few years 
ago. Someone came in fresh from the spectacle, and poured 
bat his admiring epithets as if he had been studying an 
English Gradus ad Parnassum. It was ' amazing/ ' astonish- 
ing,' ' portentous,' ' wonderful,' to aw so vast a body of water 
falling over such a precipice. ' Why,' asked my host, ' is it 
wonderful that water should fall t The wonder would be if 
it didn't fall.' 

New York is independent of climate ; one goes there to 
ee men and women. It is American, but it is cosmopolitan 
also ; less severe than Boston, and almost as genial as San 
Francisco. On all subjects you hear as good talk and as sound 
thought as you hear anywhere ; and for myself I had kind 
friends there, whom I found as warm and as hospitable as 
Americans know so well how to be. No houses are more 
pleasant to stay in than those of cultivated people in the 
metropolis of the western continent. There is splendour there, 
if you like to look for it ; but there is little ostentation, and 
no vulgarity. Vulgarity is pretence j no American pretends 
to be what he is not ; and ostentation does not answer where 
the reality below is so quickly detected. There is a manner 
peculiar to aristocratic circles, which can only be formed 
within those circles or within the range of their influence : 
the high breeding, the dignified reserve, the ease and simplicity 
which, like the free hand of an artist, arises from acquired 
command of all the functions of life. Of this there is as yet 
little or nothing in America. It has not been able to grow 
there. But the ease of good sense and the simplicity of good 
feeling are as marked in the cultivated society of New York 
as I had found them in Melbourne and Sydney ; while, besides 
these, there is the intellectual fulness and strength which 
belongs to their confidence in themselves as citizens of a great 
nation. Ten years had passed since my last visit. New York 
had grown as fast as London, and there were new and admir- 
able things to see there : their Metropolitan Railway for one, 
which does not bore, like ours, through stifling subterranean 
caverns, but is borne aloft on iron columns down the centre* 
of the busiest streets, the traffic below going on uninterrupted 



NEW YORK AND ITS WONDERS 327 

*nd unmolested. There are two circles, an outer and an inner 
There are stations every half-mile, to which you ascend by a 
staircase. You are carried along in the daylight, and in fresh 
air. The foot-passengers underneath see the trains fly by, and 
are neither disturbed nor inconvenienced ; and the structure 
itself is so light and airy that it scarcely intercepts the light 
from the windows of the houses. A greater wonder was the 
Brooklyn Suspension Bridge, spanning the estuary which 
divides New York from the Eastern Island. When I looked 
at this I had to qualify my opinion that there was nothing 
grand in America except its human inhabitants. The inhabi- 
tants had erected something at last more admirable to me 
than their Niagara Falls. It is three-quarters of a mile long, 
and swings, I believe, nearly thre^ hundred feet above the sea. 
Two towers have been built out of the water, six hundred 
yards apart, over which the chains which bear it are carried. 
The breadth is the miracle. A spacious footway runs down 
the centre, raised, perhaps, twelve feet above the rest. 
either side of it is the railway, and beyond the railway (again 
on each side) a cart and carriage way. The view from the 
centre is superb ; New York itself with its spires, and domes | 
and palaces ; Brooklyn opposite, aspiring to rival it ; the long 
reaches of the estuary, and the great bay into which it opens, 
flanked and framed by the New Jersey hills. The crowded 
shipping, the steamers (smokeless, for they use anthracite) 
plying to and fro, the yachts, the coasting vessels, the graceful 
oyster-schooners, swift as steamers in a breeze I was fascinated 
at the sight of it all ! The picture, beautiful as it was, became 
a dissolving view, and there rose through it and behind it the 
vision of the New York that is to be. As long as civilisation 
and commerce last, New York and San Francisco are the two 
outlets, which nature has made and man cannot change, 
through which the trade of America must issue eastward and 
westward. Chicago may be burnt again, or sink into a dust- 
heap ; but these two cities cannot cease to grow till either 
mankind pass off the globe and come to an end, like the races 
which have gone before them, or till there rises some new 
creed or dispensation which may change man's nature ; when 



3*8 OCEANA 

weary of pursuits which never satisfy, we may cease to run to 
and fro, may withdraw each within his own four walls and 
garden-hedges, and try again for wisdom and happiness on the 
older and more quiet lines. This, too, lies among the possi- 
bilities of the future, for man is a creature ' which never con- 
tinueth in one stay.' Strange things have come out of him, 
which the wise of the day least looked for, and things more 
strange may lie behind. To him surely the proverb is always 
applicable, that ' nothing is certain but the unforeseen.' 

New York stands upon an island ten miles long and a mile 
broad. The Central Park was, when 1 had last seen it, the 
greatest ornament of the city. It is still handsome ; but 
palaces and vast boarding-houses, let out in flats, have risen 
since on either side, encroaching on the pleasure-ground ; and 
the full breadth of the island would not have been too much 
breathing-space for so vast a population. I walked over it, 
regretting the necessity, which I suppose was a real one. In 
other ways, I found additions. Near the statues of Shake- 
speare and Scott both of which, if not good, are tolerable 
there is a third now erected, of Burns, which I perceived, with 
a malicious satisfaction, to be worse than the worst which we 
have in London. My friends admitted my criticism ; but they 
alleged, as an excuse, that it had been a present from the old 
country. There is a new statue also, of Daniel Webster ; this 
one American and original. It has neither grandeur nor 
beauty, nor attempt at either ; but it has a hard, solid, square 
vigour, characteristic, perhaps, of Webster, and a sufficient 
likeness. 

In sight-seeing and evening hospitalities my time went 
pleasantly along. My enjoyments, however, were cut short by 
a peculiarly vicious cold, which I had brought from the Rocky 
Mountains. In America all things are at high pressure. 
Colds assume the general character, and this particular one 
seized hold on me with a passionate ferocity. It fastened on 
my eyes. It was as if a vulture had driven his talons into my 
face and throat, and held them clutched. There was nothing 
serious about it, and nothing that was likely to be serious. 
But the pain was considerable. I wu told that the sea would 



FASTEST PASSAGE ON RECORD 329 

take it away ; and finding that a longer stay would only keep 
me as a useless burden on my kind entertainer's hospitality, 
we took our passage in the new ' Etruria,' the finest, and as it 
was believed, and as it proved, the swiftest steamer which wag 
yet upon the Atlantic line. Mr. Charles Butler, to whose 
active friendship I and other English men of letters owe so 
long a debt of gratitude, drove me down to the docks in his 
carriage, supplied us with grapes, with wine, with everything 
which we could need on our voyage. It was still cold 
bitterly cold after the Pacific. The icebergs were about the 
banks of Newfoundland. We had to take the longer southern 
course to avoid them, and even so we fell in with a floating 
archipelago of them, far below the latitudes to which they 
usually confine their visits. But the sea was smooth. There 
was no wind save from the swiftness of our own movement. 
My eyes recovered, and I could walk with a shade over them 
in a sheltered gallery. The ' Etruria,' outdoing even the ex- 
pectations which had been formed of her, rushed along four 
hundred and forty miles a day. We sailed on May 9 ; early 
on the morning of the 16th in six days and twelve hours 
we slackened speed to drop the mails at Cork. In twelve 
hours more we had run the remaining two hundred and forty 
miles to Liverpool. Mr. Cunard was on board, enjoying quietly 
his ship's success. Off Holyhead, in perfectly smooth water, 
and in a rollicking exultation over the fastest passage yet made, 
the engineer quickened the revolutions of the screw, as if to 
show what she could do ; and the great vessel eight thousand 
tons flew past the land like an express train, and went by 
the ordinary steamers, which were on the same course as our- 
selves, as if they were lying at their anchors in the tide- way. 

Thus brilliantly ended the voyage which I had undertaken 
round the globe to see the empire of Oceana. It remains only 
to sum up briefly the conclusion at which I was able to 
M-rive. 



Jjo OCEANA 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Th English Empire more easily formed than preserved Parliamentary prtj 
government Policy of disintegration short-sighted and destructive Pro- 
bable effect of separation on the colonies Rejected by opinion in England 
Democracy Power and tendency of it The British race Forces likely 
to produce onion Natural forces to be trusted Unnatural to b distrusted 
If England is true to herself the colonies will be true to England. 

A COMMERCIAL company established our Indian empire ; if 
India is ever lost to us, there is a common saving that it 
will be lost through Parliament. Companies of adventurers 
founded our North American colonies. Those colonies did 
not wish to leave us. The Parliament which ruled England 
in the last century alienated them and drove them into revolt. 
The English people founded new colonies, richer and more 
varied than the last. The politicians who succeeded to power 
when the aristocracy was dethroned by the Reform Bill, dis- 
covered that the colonies were of no use to us, and that we 
should be better off and stronger without them. It would 
seem as if there was some unfitness in the mode in which our 
affairs are managed for holding an empire together. Aristotle 
would explain it by saying that states grow and thrive through 
apcrrj, or virtue ; that apenj, like other excellent things, can 
only be obtained by effort ; and that under popular govern- 
ment virtue is taken too much for granted. It is assumed 
that where there is liberty virtue will follow, and it is found, as 
a fact, that it does not always follow. This, though true, is 
abstract : one may say more particularly that popular govern- 
ment is a government by parties and classes j that parties con- 
sider first their own interests ; and that the interests of no 
party which has hitherto held power in this country have been 
involved in the wise administration of our colonial connec- 
tions. The patricians of England had nothing in common with 
the colonists in America. Those colonists had sprung from 
the people. They were plebeians ; they were, many of them, 
dissenters ; they inherited the principles of the Common- 
wealth ' they were independent) and chose to have the man. 



MODERN INDIFFERENCE TO THE COLONIES 331 

agement of their own affairs. The governing classes at home 
tried to master them, and did not succeed. Equally little 
have our present colonies been an object of intelligent concern 
to the class which has ruled us during the last fifty years. It 
used to be considered that the first object of human society 
was the training of character, and the production of a fine race 
of men. It has been considered for the last half-century that 
the first object is the production of wealth, and that the value 
of all things is to be measured by their tendency to make the 
nation richer, on the assumption that if our nation is enriched 
collectively, the individuals composing it must be enriched 
along with it. Accordingly the empire, for which so many 
sacrifices were made, has been regarded as a burden to the 
tax -payer. We have been called on to diminish our responsi- 
bilities. Great Britain, it has been said, is sufficient for 
herself within her own borders. Her aim should be to de- 
velop her own industries, keep her people at home, that the 
prices of labour may be low enough to hold at bay foreign 
competition, and with the national genius for mechanical pur- 
suits, with our natural advantages, <fec., we could constitute 
ourselves the great working firm of the world, and our little 
England a land of manufacturers, growing, and to grow, with- 
out limit. People would increase, wages would increase, to the 
desirable point and not beyond it. Free trade would bring 
cheap food, and on a soil blackened with cinders and canopied 
with smoke, the nation would then enter on a period of un- 
bounded prosperity. The trading class saw prospects of a 
golden harvest. The landlords were well pleased, for they 
found their property increase in money value. All went 
well for a time. Prosperity did seem to come, and to 
advance with ' leaps and bounds.' As a natural consequence, 
though we were proud of India and were content to keep 
India, at least till it could be educated to take care of itself, 
there grew an indifference to our last acquired colonial pos- 
sessions. The colonies had no longer any special value as 
market for our industries ; the whole world was now open to 
us, and so long as their inhabitants were well off and could 
bay oar hardware and calicoes, it mattered nothing whethw 

z3 



jjj OCEANA 

they were independent, or were British subjects, or what they 
were. They paid nothing to the English exchequer, and our 
experience in America had taught us that we might not attempt 
to tax them. If we were at war we should have the burden 
of defending them. The brood in the nest was already fledged. 
It was time for them to take wing and find their own liveli- 
hood. 

Leaving aside the wisdom of this reasoning, it may be 
doubted whether any country has a right to disown so sum- 
marily its responsibilities to its own citizens. The colonists 
were part of ourselves. They settled in their new homes 
under the English flag, and were occupied in enlarging the 
area of English soil. They were British subjects, and between 
subject and government there are reciprocal obligations, which 
only violence or injustice on one side or the other can abrogate. 
They had emigrated in confidence that they were parting with 
no rights which attached to them at home, and those rights 
ought not to be taken from them without their own consent. 

But there is a graver question : whether the condition to 
which it was proposed to reduce our own country was really 
so happy a one as the modern school of statesmen conceived. 
An England of brick lanes and chimneys ; an England sound- 
ing with the roar of engines and the tinkle of the factory-bell, 
with artificial recreation-grounds, and a rare holiday in what 
remained of wood and meadow, for those who without it 
would never see a wild flower blowing, or look on an unpol- 
luted river ; where children could not learn to play save in 
alley or asphalted court ; where the whole of the life of the 
immense majority of its inhabitants from infancy to the grave 
would be a dreary routine of soulless, mechanical labour 
uch an England as this would not be described by any future 
poet as 

A precious gwnn set in the silver tea. 

Still lea would the race hereafter to grow there maintain 
ither the strength of limb or the energy of heart which raised 
their fathers to the lofty eminence which they achieved and 
bequeathed. Horace described the Romans of his day M 



SHORTSIGHTEDNESS OF DISINTEGRATION 333 

' inferior to sires who were in turn inferior to theirs,' and as 
1 likely to leave an offspring more degraded than themselves. 1 
And it was true that the citizens of the Roman Empire were 
thus degenerate, and that the progress which we speak of as 
continuous may be, and sometimes is, a progress downhill. It is 
simply impossible that the English men and women of the future 
generations can equal or approach the famous race that has 
overspread the globe, if they are to be bred in towns such as 
Birmingham and Glasgow now are, and to rear their families 
under the conditions which now prevail in those places. 
Morally and physically they must and will decline. Even 
the work so much boasted of is degrading on the terms on 
which it is carried on. What kind of nation will that be 
which has constituted its entire people into the mechanical 
drudges of the happier part of mankind, forced by the whip of 
hunger to be eternally manufacturing shirts and coats which 
others are to wear, and tools and engines which others are to 
use ? This is no life for beings with human souls in them. You 
may call such a nation free. It would be a nation of voluntary 
bondsmen in a service from which hope is shut out. Neither 
the toilers who submit to such a destiny while a better prospect 
is open, nor the employers who grow rich upon their labour, 
can ever rise to greatness, or preserve a greatness which they 
have inherited. The American colonies were lost by the ill- 
handling of the patricians. The representatives of the middle 
classes would have shaken off, if they had been allowed, 
Australia and New Zealand and the Canadas. The power is 
aow with the democracy, and it remains to be seen whether 
the democracy is wiser than those whom it has supplanted, 
and whether it will exert itself to save, for the millions of 
whom it consists, those splendid territories where there is soil 
fertile as in the old home, and air and sunshine and the possi- 
bilities of human homes for ten times our present number*. 
If the opportunity is allowed to pass from us unused, England 
may renounce for ever her ancient aspirations. The oak tree 
in park or forest whose branches are left to it will stand for a 
thousand years ; let the branches be lopped away or torn from 
f by the wind, it rots at the heart and becomes a pollard 



334 OCEANA 

Interesting only from the comparison of what it once was -with 
what fate or violence has made it. So it is with nations. 
The life of a nation, like the life of a tree, is in its extremities. 
The leaves are the lungs through which the tree breathes, and 
the feeders which gather its nutriment out of the atmosphere. 
A mere manufacturing England, standing stripped and bare in 
the world's market-place, and caring only to make wares for 
the world to buy, is already in the pollard stage ; the glory of 
it is gone for ever. The anti -colonial policy was probably but 
a passing dream from which facts are awakening us. Other 
nations are supplying their own necessities, and are treading 
fast upon our heels. There is already a doubt whether we can 
hold for any long time our ignoble supremacy, and happily the 
colonies are not yet lost to us. But the holding the empire 
together is of a moment to us which cannot be measured. Our 
material interests, rightly judged, are as deeply concerned as 
our moral interests, and there lies before us, if the union be 
once placed beyond uncertainty, a career which may eclipse 
even our past lustre. But, in theological language, it is the 
saving of our national soul, it is the saving of the souls of 
millions of Englishmen hereafter to be born, that is really at 
take; and once more the old choice is again before us, whether 
we prefer immediate money advantage, supposing that to be 
within our reach, by letting the empire slide away, or else our 
spiritual salvation. We stand at the parting of the ways. 

The suggestion of separation originated with us. No 
one among the colonies indicated a desire to leave us ; yet, 
in the confidence of youth, they believe that, if we desert 
them, they can still hold their ground alone. They see what 
America ha* done, and they think that they can do the same- 
It may be so, but the example has lessons in it which they 
may reflect upon. The American plantations were begun 
in persecution and were cradled in suffering. They were 
formed into a nation in a stern struggle for existence. They 
have passed through a convulsion which had nearly wrecked 
ven them, and they have been hammered on the anvil of 
khe Fates, as all peoples are whom the Fates intend to mak 
nuch of. There is a discipline essential to all high forms 



EFFECT OF SEPARATION ON THE COLONIES 335 

of life which cannot be learnt otherwise, yet which must 
be learnt before a nation can be made. If our colonies sur- 
vive a Declaration of Independence they will meet with a 
similar experience. There will be mistakes, there will be 
quarrels, there will be factions. There will be perils from 
the rashness of the multitude, perils from the ambition of 
popular leaders, perils from the imperfect nature of all 
political constitutions, which from time to time must be 
changed, and change in the body politic is like disease in 
the individual system, which takes the shape often of malig- 
nant fever. The Spaniards, three centuries ago, were a great 
people ; as great in arms, as great on sea, as great in arts and 
literature as their English rivals. Few nobler men have ever 
lived than the great Gonzalvo, or the generals and admirals who 
served under Charles the Fifth and Philip the Second. Spain 
has been compared to the pelican, who feeds her young on her 
own entrails. She bled herself almost to death to make her 
colonies strong and vigorous, yet their history since they were 
launched into independence is not encouraging, and British 
communities under the same conditions might pass easily into 
analogous troublea I do not doubt that in time they would 
rise out of them. Illustrious men might appear who would 
make a name in history, and perhaps they might become 
illustrious nations; but if they were started now into free- 
dom there would be a long period in which it would be un- 
certain what would become of them. In these days, when the 
world has grown so small and the arms of the Great Powers 
are so long, an independent Victoria, or New South Wales, 
or New Zealand, would lie at the mercy of any ambitious 
aggressor who could dispose of fleets and armies. 

The colonists, I think, know and feel this. They prize 
their privilege as British subjects. They are proud of be- 
longing to a nationality on whose flag the sun never sets. 
They honour and love their sovereign, though they never 
look upon her presence. Separation, if it comes, will be no 
work of theirs. Nor shall we part friends, as I have heard 
expected ; for the dissolution of the bond will be regarded as 
*n injury, to be neither forgiven nor forgotten. If that step 



336 OCEANA 

is once taken in some fit of impatience or narrow selfishndM, 
it will never be repaired ; for the tie is as the tie of a branch 
to the parent trunk not mechanical, not resting on material 
interests, but organic and vital, and if cut or broken can no 
more be knotted again than a severed bough can be re-attached 
to a tree. 

Public opinion in England has, for a time, silenced the 
separation policy as an aim which can be openly avowed. 
Politicians of all creeds now promise their constituents to 
maintain the union with the Colonies, knowing that they 
would forfeit their seats if they hinted at disintegration ; and 
no practical statesman whatever, with Separatist opinions, 
can dare to give public expression to them. There is, there- 
fore, no immediate danger ; and the agitation has had its 
uses, for it has familiarised the public with the bearings 
of the question, and has put them on their guard against 
a peril which had crept so close before they knew what 
was going on. It has also shown the colonists that the 
coldness of Downing Street and the indifference of poli- 
ticians is no measure of the feeling with which they are 
regarded by their general kindred. The union, so much 
talked of, still exists, though its existence has been threatened. 

They are a part of us. They h-vve as little thought of 
leaving us, as an affectionate wife thinks of leaving her 
husband. The married pair may have their small disagree- 
ments, but their partnership is for ' as long as they both shall 
live.' Our differences with vhe colonists have been aggravated 
by the class of persons with whom they have been brought 
officially into contact. The administration of the Colonial 
Office has been generally in the hands of men of rank, or of 
men who aspire to rank ; and, although these high persons are 
fair representatives of the interests which they have been 
educated to understand, they are not the fittest to conduct 
our relations with com ^unities of Englishmen with whom 
they have imperfect sympathy, in the absence of a well- 
informed public opinion to guide them. The colonists are 
ocially their inferiors, out of their sphere, and without per- 
sonal point of contact. Secretaries of State lie yet under the 



DEMOCRACY 337 

ihadow of the old impression that colonies exist only for the 
benefit of the mother-country. When they found that they 
could no longer tax the colonies, or lay their trade under 
restraint, for England's supposed advantage, they utilised them 
as penal stations. They distributed the colonial patronage, 
the lucrative places of public employment, to provide for 
friends or for political supporters. When this, too, ceased to 
be possible, they acquiesced easily in the theory that the 
Colonies were no longer of any use to us at all. The altera- 
tion of the suffrage may make a difference in the personnel of 
our departments, but it probably will not do so to any great 
extent. A seat in the House of Commons is an expensive 
privilege, and the choice is practically limited. Not everyone, 
however public-spirited he may be, can afford a large sum for 
the mere honour of serving his country ; and those whose 
fortune and station in society is already secured, and who have 
no private interests to serve, are, on the whole, the most to be 
depended upon. But the people are now sovereign, and 
officials of all ranks will obey their masters. It is with the 
people that the colonists feel a real relationship. Let the 
people give the officials to understand that the bond which 
holds the empire together is not to be weakened any more, but 
is to be maintained and strengthened, and they will work as 
readily for purposes of union as they worked in the other 
direction when ' the other direction ' was the prevailing one. 
I am no believer in Democracy as a form of government which 
can be of long continuance. It proceeds on the hypothesis 
that every individual citizen is entitled to an equal voice in 
the management of his country ; and individuals being infi- 
nitely unequal bad and good, wise and unwise and as rights 
depend on fitness to make use of them, the assumption is 
untrue, and no institutions can endure which rest upon illu- 
sions. But there are certain things which only Democracy 
can execute ; and the unity of our empire, all parts of which 
hall be free and yet inseparable, can only be brought about 
by the pronounced will of the majority. Securus judicat orbit. 
No monarchy or privileged order could have dared to take the 
measures necessary to maintain the American Union. They 



338 OCEANA 

would infallibly have wrecked themselves in the effort. Caesar 
preserved the integrity of the Empire of Rome, but Caesar was 
the armed soldier of the Democracy. If the Colonies are to 
remain integral parts of Oceana, it will be through the will of 
the people. To the question, What value are they t the 
answer is, that they enable the British people to increase and 
multiply. The value of the British man lies in his being what 
he is another organic unit, out of the aggregate of which the 
British nation is made ; and the British nation is something 
more than a gathering of producers and consumers and tax- 
payers : it is a factor, and one of the most powerful, in the 
development of the whole human race. By its intellect, by 
its character, by its laws and literature, by its sword and 
cannon, it has impressed its stamp upon mankind with a print 
as marked as the Roman. The nation is but the individuals 
who compose it, and the wider the area over which these 
individuals are growing, the more there will be of them, the 
stronger they will be in mind and. body, and the deeper the 
roots which they will strike among the foundation-stones of 
things. These islands are small, and are full to overflowing 
In the colonies only we can safely multiply, and the people, I 
think, are awakening to know it. 

It may be otherwise. It may be that the people will say 
that the days of empires are past, that we are all free now, 
we are our own masters and must look out for ourselves each 
in our own way. If this be their voice, there is no remedy. 
As they decide, so will be the issue. But it was not the voice 
of America. It need not be the voice of scattered Britain ; 
and if we and the Colonies alike determine that we wish to be 
one, the problem is solved. The wish will be its own realisa- 
tion. Two pieces of cold iron cannot be welded by the most 
ingenious hammering : at white heat they will combine of 
themselves. Let the colonists say that they desire to be per- 
manently united with us ; let the people at home repudiate as 
emphatically a desire for separation, and the supposed diffi- 
culties will be like the imaginary lion in the path formidable 
only to the fool or the sluggard. No great policy was ever 
carried through which did not once seem impossible. Of all 



UNITING FORCES 339 

cruly great political achievements the organisation of a United 
British Empire would probably be found the easiest. 

Happily there is no need for haste. The objectors are for 
the present silent. A war might precipitate a solution ; but 
we are not at war, and there is no prospect of war at present 
above the horizon. Ingenious schemes brought forward pre- 
maturely, perhaps in the interest of some party in the state, 
can only fail, and are "therefore only to be deprecated. Con- 
fidence is a plant of slow growth. Past indifference cannot at 
once be forgotten, and sudden eagerness will be suspected of a 
selfish object. 

All of us are united at present by the invisible bonds of 
relationship and of affection for our common country, for our 
common sovereign, and for our joint spiritual inheritance. 
These links are growing, and if let alone will continue to grow, 
and the free fibres will of themselves become a rope of steel. 
A. federation contrived by politicians would snap at the first 
strain. We must wait while the colonies are contented \f 
wait. They are supposed to be the sufferers by the present 
foose relations. They are exposed to attack, should war break 
out, while they have no voice in the policy which may have 
led to the war. It would seem from the example of New 
South Wales that, whether they have a voice or not, they are 
eager to stand by us in our trials. So long as they do not 
complain, we may spare our anxieties on their account and 
need not anticipate an alienation of which no signs have 
appeared. If they feel aggrieved they will suggest a remedy. 
They know, or will know, their own wishes ; and when they 
let us understand what those wishes are we can consider them 
on their own merits. Meanwhile, and within the limits of the 
existing constitution, we can accept their overtures, if they 
make such overtures, for a single undivided fleet. We can 
give them back the oJd and glorious flag ; we can bestow our 
public honours (not restricting ourselves to the colonial St. 
Michael and St. George) on all who deserve them, without 
respect of birthplace ; we can admit their statesmen to the 
Privy Council, and even invite them in some form to be the 
direct advisers of their sovereign. We can open the road, for 



340 OCEANA 

their young men who are ambitious of distinguishing them- 
selves, into the public service, the army, or the navy ; we can 
make special doors for them to enter, by examination boards 
in their own cities ; we can abstain from irritating inter- 
ference, and when they want our help we can give it freely 
and without grudging. Above all, we can insist that the word 
1 separation ' shall be no more heard among us. Man and 
wife may be divorced in certain eventualities, but such eventu- 
alities are not spoken of among the contingencies of domestic 
life. Sons may desert their parents, but sons who had no such 
intention would resent the suggestion that they might desert 
them if they pleased. Every speech, every article recom- 
mending the disintegration of the empire which is applauded 
or tolerated at home is received as an insult by the colo- 
nists, who do not see why they should be ' disintegrated ' any 
more than Cornwall or Devonshire. Were Oceana an accepted 
article of faith, received and acknowledged as something not 
to be called in question, it would settle into the convictions of 
all of us, and the organic union which we desiderate would 
pass silently into a fact without effort of political ingenuity. 
We laugh at sentiment, but every generous and living relation 
between man and man, or between men and their country, is 
sentiment and nothing else. If Oceana is to be hereafter 
governed by a federal parliament, such a parliament will grow 
when the time is ripe for it, or something else will grow we 
cannot tell. The fruit is not yet mature, and we need not 
trouble ourselves about it. Agents-general in the House of 
Commons without votes ; Agents-general formed into a council ; 
colonial life-peers ; these, and all other such expedients which 
ingenious persons have invented, may be discussed properly if 
they are put forward by the colonists themselves. Till then 
they are better let alone. The question is for them more than 
for us, and if such councils or methods of representation be 
really desirable, they will take effect more readily the less 
directly they are pressed forward at home. 

After all is said, it is on ourselves that the future depends. 
We are passing through a crisis in our national existence, and 
the wisest cannot say what lie* before us. If the English 



LAST WORDS 341 

Character comes oat of the trial true to it* old traditions* 
bold in heart and clear in eye, seeking nothing which is not its 
own, but resolved to maintain its own with its hand upon its 
sword the f ar-off English dependencies will cling to their old 
home, and will look up to her and be still proud to belong to 
her, and will seek their own greatness in promoting hers. If, 
on the contrary (for among the possibilities there is a contrary), 
the erratic policy is to be continued which for the last few 
years has been the world's wonder ; if we show that we have 
no longer any settled principles of action, that we let ourselves 
drift into idle wars and unprovoked bloodshed ; if we are in- 
capable of keeping order even in our own Ireland, and let it 
fall away from us or sink into anarchy ; if, in short, we let it 
be seen that we have changed our nature, and are not the same 
men with those who once made our country feared and 
honoured, then, in ceasing to deserve respect, we shall cease 
o be respected. The colonies will not purposely desert us, 
but they will look each to itself, knowing that from us, and 
from their connection with us, there is nothing more to be 
hoped for. The cord will wear into a thread, and any accident 
will break it. 

And so end my observations and reflections on the dream 
of Sir James Harrington. So will not end, I hope nod believe, 
Oceana. 



34* 



NOTE. 

I have spoken on page 295 of the Samoan mission and of a 
gentleman connected with it whom I met on the Pacific. What 1 
said requires correction in three points. The Mr. Cox, not ' Coze,' 
with whom this gentleman had a controversy was present in Samoa 
only through a book which he had written, and not in person. The 
able reply to Mr. Cox was not composed, as I had erroneously 
thought, under an impression that the subject was a new one. 

The 1,5002. transmitted annually by the natives of Samoa to 
the London Missionary Society does not result from the sale of 
the translation of the Bible, but from another and separate fund. 

Lastly, and what is of most importance, the South Sea mission- 
aries who have connected themselves with politics, and in particular 
the person to whom I refer in page 296, do not belong to the 
London Society. I had not said that they did, but my language 
was not sufficiently clear. 

J. A. FBCUDK. 



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